Some opening day (recent) history facts.? Neill Armstrong (1979-1981) went 1-3 on opening day.? All three of those games were against Green Bay, twice at home and once at Lambeau.? Mike Ditka started his coaching reign with conseutive losses against Detroit and Atlanta on opening day, then coached his team to the longest opening day win streak in the NFL at the time, winning every game from 1984-1992.
Speaking of opening at home, interestingly, the Bears opened every season at home from 1983 to 1996.?In ’97,?they traveled to play champion Green Bay on Monday Night Football.
Dave Wannstedt’s 1993 team broke the home winning streak when they lost to the New York Giants thanks to a late defensive breakdown.? His teams won openers consecutively from 1994-1996, then lost their last two in miserable seasons in ’97 and ’98.? Wannstedt’s record in openers during his six-year reign of terror was 3-3.
Dick Jauron was 2-3 in five years.? His debut was memorable in 1999, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs at Soldier Field?behind Gary Crowton’s “razzle dazzle offense”, but his opening day chances fizzled from there.
So far, Lovie Smith is 1-2 on opening days, losing to Detroit at home and Washington on the road, and beating Green Bay on the road in 2006.? And of course as of today, the San Diego Chargers are favored by 6 over the Bears on Sunday.
The Bears always opened on the road and didn’t come home until late September or October for years and years, which was fairly understood when they shared Wrigley Field with the Cubs and couldn’t start there until baseball ended.? But to me the recent past sucks as the Bears have started four of the last five years on the road.? Why not give the bulk of warm-weather games to cold-weather cities when the weather is beautiful?