No. 1 — The schedule makers showed some first-half love
If the Chicago Bears play their cards right, the opportunity to draw four consecutive victories to start out the season. We’ve heard of contracts in the NFL being frontloaded and backloaded, but in an ever-competitive league, it’s rare to see something like that happen with a schedule.
One of the first things that immediately stands out is this. From Week 5 to Week 12, the Bears begin a “murderer’s row,” four primetime games in seven successive weeks, all of which coming against teams such as: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Rams and Minnesota Vikings.
As every non-1985 Bears team to ever exist has had to find out, you don’t want to be dealing with too much drama in late-November, early-December. One has to imagine the first four games of the Bears’ season are somewhat must-win.
Perhaps to their advantage, the Chicago Bears will get a chance to play a couple of teams in transition to begin the year. The Lions, Giants, Falcons and Colts combined to go 21-42-1 in 2019, and only the Indianapolis Colts got perhaps noticeably better with Philip Rivers under center.
It also certainly helps that the Bears can get things started with an NFC North matchup that boosts their standing. Only six teams in NFL history have a higher win percentage in Week 1 than the Bears, who also own the most wins (42) of any team.
Your eye probably immediately went to the Week Five game, while nothing to fear per se, is something you’d certainly want to have a margin of error for. Hosting the likes of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski on a short week with the lights on bright isn’t something you want to be walking into with a 2-2 record.
Color me convinced that every game is a must-win, from the first preseason scrimmage until Super Bowl 55. Yeah, I said it.