Just had my first look at the schedule, released 45 minutes ago. Here are this fan and season ticket holder’s observations, before reading anyone else’s observations.
September 7 7:15 p.m. at Indianapolis: Rough start to the season on the road. We’ll find out real quick if the Bears will be contenders in 2008, a fringe team, or nowhere in the picture.
September 14 Noon at Carolina: Another tough game. Carolina is a constantly rebounding team. Unsettled at quarterback and running back, but not a pushover by any means.
September 21 Noon Tampa Bay: This pi**es me off, having to wait until late September for our first homegame, after traveling to an indoor (retractable) stadium in week one, then to a moderate climate in week 2. Do the NFL bean counters not understand how beautiful the first 2 weeks of September generally are in Chicago? We have to endure more games late in the season than in what would be beautiful weather? And don’t even get me started on the Bears if they wear their whites at home for the fourth year in a row. I hate this practice. As for the Bucs, they made the playoffs in 2007 but I’m not too worried about them.
September 28 7 p.m. Philadelphia: The Eagles are a bit of an enigma too, but with McNabb and Westbrook, it could go either way.
October 5 Noon at Detroit: Division games open at Detroit, who surprisingly swept the Bears in 2007. Despite their improvement last season, I don’t see another Lion sweep in ’08.
October 12 Noon at Atlanta: The Falcons are seriously rebuilding. Shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for the Bears in the Georgia Dome. The last time the Bears played there, they whipped the Falcons 31-3 in 2001.
October 19 Noon Minnesota: The Vikings at home. As long as the scare Bears don’t allow another 270 yards rushing to Adrian Peterson, they’ll be in the game.
October 26: Bye Hopefully not as in “bye bye playoffs” as was the case in 2007.
November 2 Noon Detroit: At home against the Lions in 2007, Chicago literally gave Detroit the sweep with stupid play. Hopefully no repeat in that area.
November 9 Noon Tennessee: Bears haven’t faced the Titans since 2004 in Nashville. Chance to see long-lost friend Justin Gage.
November 16 Noon at Packers: Can we say mmmmmm, Aaron Rodgers. Fun.
November 23 Noon at Rams: Well, the one good thing about embarrassingly finishing last in the NFC North in 2007 is getting to face other last place teams. Hopefully this game will resemble the 2006 contest, won 42-17 by the good guys.
November 30 7:15 p.m. at Vikings: Last year’s night contest at Minnesota was ugly, although it was the game that Brian Urlacher came out of hibernation. By this time we’ll know if the Bears’ window has slammed completely shut and they’ve given ground to teams like Minnesota and Detroit permanently.
December 7 Noon: Jacksonville: A tough AFC team. Last game between the teams was in 2004, when they smoked a beaten-up Bears team.
December 11 7:15 p.m. New Orleans: Wow, a Thursday night game in Chicago. I have a pretty good memory, and I don’t believe in my 29 years as a season ticket holder the Bears have hosted a weeknight game (other than Monday night, of course). Good thing I’m limiting the tailgating this year.
December 22 7:30 p.m. Green Bay: Two night games in a row. And hopefully a second feast on Aaron Rodgers in 2008.
December 28 Noon at Houston: If the Bears have faded from the playoffs in 2008, and lose to a team like Houston, we will know that we’re back in the doldrums. God help us.
Anyone care to guess in which week of the season the as of now unknown third-string quarterback will be starting?
The Bears opened at home every year from 1983-1996. Now they’ve started on the road from 2000-2003 (counting Champaign as road) and 2005-2008. What the hell gives?