The Chicago Bears are a founding franchise in the National Football League (NFL). They have had legendary coaches (George Halas), legendary players (Dick Butkus) and lots of success. However, when the good times fade, the bad times almost always appear.
The former “Monsters of the Midway” have not been on the top of their game recently. It may be why a pre-season projection has this squad winning just seven games in 2015. They may actually win even fewer games.
For openers, this team from the Windy City plays in the National Football Conference (NFL) North Division. Their opponents in this very tough grouping are the up-and-coming Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings as well as a team with the potential to reach the Super Bowl, the Green Bay Packers.
Graphic via wikipedia
The Chicago Bears, a team in a rebuilding phase, may be “the weak link” in a rugged division. And yet, they still have to play home-and-home series against each divisional foe.
The Bears will host Green Bay in the season opener on September 13th and Detroit in the regular season’s final game on January 3rd. In between those two contests will be a visit from the Minnesota Vikings. They’ll play the Bears on November 1st.
Of course, the Bears will have to travel to Green Bay, Detroit and Minnesota to compete against each divisional opponent. They will visit the Motor City on October 18th and the twin cities on December 20th. Green Bay will host the Bears in a Thursday night game on November 26th which is Thanksgiving Day.
The collective winning percentage of all the teams on Chicago’s schedule is a whopping .531, the thirteenth most difficult schedule in the entire NFL in 2015.
So, it is no surprise that their opponents outside the North Division are teams that did well in 2014. The Arizona Cardinals will visit the Bears on September 20th while the Peyton Manning -led Denver Broncos will bring lots of quick-score ability to the Windy City on November 22nd. The San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins are two more tough opponents scheduled to play the Bears in the ballpark close to Lake Michigan.
Road games offer Chicago little, if any, relief. This Illinois squad has to visit Seattle on September 27th, Kansas City on October 11th and the St. Louis Rams on November 15th. They will also travel to San Diego for a Monday night nationally-televised battle on November 9th.
A remarkably difficult schedule on the road and at home, a team in transition and rebuilding for a brighter future – two reasons why this year’s version of the Chicago Bears may have players thinking about their winter vacations long before the season ends.
Graphic via bleacherreport