Chicago Bears schedule 2024: NFL Executive speaks on format of NFC North opponents

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

The Chicago Bears' 2024 NFL Schedule has been released and the overall takeaway is that it is an ideal landing spot for rookie quarterback Caleb Williams.

The reason for that belief is that Williams and the Bears will not play a divisional game until Week 11 in a game against the Green Bay Packers on November 17. The idea of the Bears going two months before playing an NFC North rival was a foreign concept prior to this season, but not one that the NFL believes is a mistake.

The strange order of the Chicago Bears' 2024 schedule.

NFL schedule maker Mike North discussed the idea of the Bears not playing divisional opponents until the second half of their season.

"“We certainly didn’t set out to not have any division games [in the early part of the season],” North said on a video conference call with reporters. “It feels like a college basketball schedule, the nonconference games first. It wasn’t intentional, but also it wasn’t necessarily something that we looked at and thought was unfair.""

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It's a structure that Williams should be familiar with considering with USC last season, it was not until the second half of the collegiate season that the Trojans played mostly against Pac-12 rivals.

This is beneficial for the Bears because Williams will likely experience a learning curve before he finds success consistently at the NFL level. For the Bears, it will be beneficial for Williams to go through that learning curve prior to playing games against the Packers, Detroit Lions, and Minnesota Vikings.

In a similar sense, Bears fans can look at the success that Jordan Love had during the second half of the 2023 season after struggling in his first set of games as the Packers' starting quarterback. Much like Love's play was the storyline of the second half of the 2023 season, the Bears are hoping that will be the case for Williams.