The 2020 season is going to be an interesting one for fans of the Chicago Bears and it is also expected to be a make-or-break season for the former No. 2 overall pick they traded up to select in the 2017 NFL Draft. After finally snapping their playoff drought in 2018, the Bears submitted a disappointing 8-8 campaign in 2019 that was only good enough for third place in the NFC North behind the Packers and Vikings. But reinforcements have arrived this offseason in the form of quarterback Nick Foles who will challenge Mitchell Trubisky for the starting job, edge rusher Robert Quinn who will supplement both Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks up front, and an assortment of rookies and veterans like cornerback Jaylon Johnson, tight ends Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham, and safety Tashaun Gipson, bringing with them hope for a better fate in 2020.
But to make it back to the playoffs, the Bears will need to navigate a treacherous 17-week schedule. Below, now that the entire 2020 NFL schedule has finally been released, you’ll find the Bears’ schedule broken down week by week, in addition to a list of their prime-time games, and a look at their strength of schedule. Check out week-by-week predictions here and the Bears’ Franchise Five .
- Week 1: Sept. 13: at Lions, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 2, Sept. 20: vs. Giants, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 3, Sept. 27: at Falcons, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 4, Oct. 4: vs Colts, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 5, Oct. 8: vs Buccaneers (Thursday Night Football), 8:20 p.m., Fox/NFL Network/Amazon
- Week 6, Oct. 18: at Panthers, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 7, Oct. 26: at Rams, (Monday Night Football), 8:15 p.m., ESPN
- Week 8, Nov. 1: vs. Saints, 4:25 p.m., Fox
- Week 9, Nov. 8: at Titans, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 10, Nov. 16: vs. Vikings (Monday Night Football), 8:15 p.m., ESPN
- Week 11: BYE
- Week 12, Nov. 29: at Packers (Sunday Night Football), 8:20 p.m., NBC
- Week 13, Dec. 6: vs. Lions, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 14, Dec. 13: vs. Texans, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 15, Dec. 20: at Vikings, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 16, Dec. 27: at Jaguars, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 17, Jan. 3: vs. Packers, 1 p.m., Fox
The Bears will have to wait until Week 2 to play their home opener against the Giants. This marks the third straight season the Bears and Giants will face each other. Last season, the Bears beat the Giants, 19-14, as their defense shut down both Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. This Week 2 clash could mark the first time Nick Foles plays in Chicago since the double-doink game, when he helped the Eagles beat the Bears in the playoffs following the 2018 season.
The Pick Six Podcast gang fired up a new episode breaking down every eye-catching aspect of the NFL’s schedule release. Give it a listen below, and be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform:
In all, the Bears have four prime-time games. The Bears are scheduled for one Thursday night game against the Buccaneers in Week 5, two Monday night games against the Rams and Vikings in Weeks 7 and 10 and one Sunday night game against the Packers in Week 12. All four games are intriguing matchups in the NFC, pitting the Bears’ vaunted defense against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers’ stacked offense, the Bears against their two NFC North rivals, and the Bears against the Rams after the two teams traded low-scoring wins over the past two seasons.
The Bears’ bye in Week 11 will come at the perfect time, because their schedule from Weeks 7-10 will be tough to navigate as they face Rams on the road, the Saints, the Titans on the road, and the Vikings. Three of those four teams made the playoffs a year ago and the one team that didn’t (the Rams) won nine games.
Strength of schedule
Earlier this offseason, our John Breech broke down the 2020 strength of schedule for all 32 NFL teams based on combined opponent winning percentage from last season. Based on those calculations, the Bears have the 13th-toughest schedule in 2020 (tied with the Seahawks). For a complete look at every team’s strength of schedule, check out Breech’s breakdown here.
However, when basing strength of schedule on the over/under win totals for each team’s opponents during the 2020 season at William Hill, the Bears go from having the 13th-toughest schedule to having the third-easiest schedule. For a complete look at every team’s strength of schedule using this methodology, check out our Jared Dubin’s full breakdown here.