The Bears may have stumbled down the closing stretch of their 2015 season but the NFL has tapped the Bears to be in four prime-time games in the first eight weeks of the 2016 season, four in seven weeks in fact.
After winning their two prime-time games last season (at San Diego, at Green Bay), the Bears will host Monday Night Football games against Philadelphia Week 2 (Sept. 19) and the Minnesota Vikings Week 8 (Oct. 31) before their off week. The Minnesota game will follow a 10-day break after a Thursday night game at Green Bay on Oct. 20.
The Bears go to Dallas to face the Cowboys Sunday night for game three on Sept. 25.
Subject to playing their way into flex-time scheduling, the Bears’ only non-noon-Sunday game in the second half of the season is set for Christmas Eve at home against Washington, when the NFL has slated all but three games for Saturday rather than Christmas Day.
It is a season that invites the Bears to make a run if they can take their three phases, all of which improved over the 2014 season if only incrementally, to a next level with myriad new pieces added. The Bears play six of their 16 games against teams with winning records, two each against the Packers and Vikings, plus the AFC South champion Houston Texans and NFC East Washington Redskins, both 9-7 finishers last season.