Chicago Bears could benefit from this strange schedule quirk

Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears schedule is now known. The team will face off against the usual suspects within the NFC North. Outside of the Packers, Lions and Vikings, the team will have to try and defeat the likes of the Rams, Browns, Bucs, Ravens and a handful of other teams.

When we look at the strength of schedule throughout the NFL, most have the Chicago Bears with the third-most difficult schedule, however, Mike Clay actually has the Chicago Bears with the toughest schedule.

Something I am not sure Mike Clay or others have taken into account when looking through schedules to determine who has it easiest and who has it hardest is the fact that the Chicago Bears have a quirk in their schedule — one that has only happened three other times in the last decade. The Bears do not play any back-to-back away (or home) games this season.

I am not ready to think that this scheduling quirk is a lock for this team to win the NFC North, especially with MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers still manning the offense for Green Bay. Not to mention, we have no idea how the Bears quarterback situation will unfold here in Chicago. Will Andy Dalton keep the quarterback job heading into the season or will Justin Fields force his way as the starter? If Dalton does start, will he lose it after a few games? Too many questions. here.

What is nice about this scheduling quirk though, is that the Chicago Bears will not have to travel back and forth as much. It does not seem like much, but obviously, it makes a difference based on what we have seen historically.

The 2012 Falcons finished with a record of 13-3. The team went 7-1 at home and 6-2 on the road. It helped that Matt Ryan had an MVP-type season with 4,719 yards, 32 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

The 2013 Packers was a different story, and not one I want to remember. Green Bay went 8-7-1 that season and kept the Chicago Bears out of the playoffs by winning the last game with under a minute left. If you don’t recall, Randall Cobb blew past Chris Conte on fourth down as the Bears were up 28-27. Cobb scored one of the easiest touchdowns I have ever seen and the Bears’ playoff hopes were history. It did not matter much though as they lost Wild Card Weekend.

The 2019 Ravens went 14-2 and this was Lamar Jackson’s MVP season. Jackson only threw for 3,127 yards but added another 1,206 yards on the ground. Jackson totaled 43 touchdowns and only six interceptions. The Ravens were unstoppable on the ground that year but fell short in the playoffs.

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One thing to point out in regards to the strength of schedule rankings — the Ravens were 20th going into the 2019 season, the Packers were sixth in 2013 and the Falcons had the easiest schedule in 2012. Now, we will wait and see what happens with the Bears this year. Will the strength of schedule make as big of a difference or will the lack of back-to-back away games work in their favor?