Green Bay Packers

How the Bears' schedule stacks up against the rest of the NFC North

How the Bears' schedule stacks up against the rest of the NFC North

We’ve known who the Bears will play in the 2019 regular season since New Year's Eve 2018, and have known where they'll play those opponents for even longer. That always makes the NFL’s schedule reveal sort of an odd phenomenon, especially because most of it gets leaked long before primetime shows air on NFL Network and ESPN. 

Additionally: Do we really know how good anyone is going to be in 2019, the Bears included? 

So yes, the Bears have the most difficult schedule of any team in the NFC North by virtue of playing fellow 2018 division winners New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. But a side-by-side comparison to the rest of the NFC North reveals the Bears’ schedule has both its drawbacks and advantages compared to the rest of the division: 

Different opponents

Bears: @ Rams, Saints (division winners)
Vikings: @ Seahawks, Falcons
Packers: @ 49ers, Panthers
Lions: @ Cardinals, Buccaneers

The Bears, undoubtedly, have the toughest pairing of NFC opponents here. But the Vikings having to go to Seattle — where they lost a year ago — isn’t easy against the 12th man, and the Falcons still have a powerful offense and could rebound to contention with an improved defense. 

As for the Packers, San Francisco should be much improved with Jimmy Garoppolo returning from a season-ending injury along with adding Dee Ford, Kwon Alexander, Tevin Coleman and whoever they pick second overall in next week. A healthy Cam Newton could do wonders for the Panthers, too. 

The Lions have two of the likely worst teams in the NFL, though questions remain if the Lions are any good anyways. 

The verdict: The Bears have the toughest pairing, but the Vikings and Packers don’t necessarily have easy ones, either. 

Different locations

Bears: @ Broncos, @ Raiders (London), @ Washington, @ Eagles, Chiefs, Chargers, Giants, Cowboys
Vikings: @ Kansas City, @ Chargers, @ Cowboys, @ Giants, Broncos, Raiders, Washington, Eagles
Packers: @ Kansas City, @ Chargers, @ Cowboys, @ Giants, Broncos, Raiders, Washington, Eagles
Lions: @Broncos, @ Raiders, @ Washington, @ Eagles, Chiefs, Chargers, Giants, Cowboys

The Bears and Lions, theoretically, got the easier draw in the AFC West with the Chiefs and Chargers — two of the AFC’s best teams in 2018 — at home, with the Broncos and Raiders at home. But this is worth noting given the timing of the Broncos’ game in Week 2:

Worth noting, too: The Chargers, who for one more year will play in a soccer stadium that’s usually full of opposing teams’ fans, had a 6-2 record on a road in 2018. 

But missing the Chiefs on the road is a good thing for the Bears — outside of fans losing out on a trip to Joe’s Kansas City. The game being in Week 16 could be fascinating, especially if both the teacher (Andy Reid) and protege (Matt Nagy) have something for which to play. Of course, there are eight months separating now and that game, so plenty could happen. 

Drawing Washington and New York on the road would’ve been the most ideal, but that didn’t happen with any team in the division, so right now it looks like a wash between how the NFC East opponents line up. 

The verdict: The Bears probably have the most favorable-looking schedule of any team here given they get the Raiders in, effectively, a neutral-site game (that likely will be heavily attended by Bears fans at Tottenham’s stadium). Whether or not Denver's uncanny success at home early in the season continues in the Vic Fangio regime remains to be seen. 

Time off

Opponents following an off week: Saints (Bears), at Seahawks (Vikings), at 49ers (Packers), at Packers (Lions)

Opponents following a Thursday night game: At Broncos, at Packers (Bears), at Chiefs (Vikings), Vikings, at Cowboys (Packers), at Vikings (Lions). 

The verdict: This isn’t a huge deal — the Bears had the quickest turnaround in NFL history from their Sunday night game against the Vikings to their Thanksgiving afternoon game against the Lions and wound up fine last year. 

Sports Illustrated re-did the 2018 NFL Draft and you're going to be *super* mad at where they sent Roquan Smith

Sports Illustrated re-did the 2018 NFL Draft and you're going to be *super* mad at where they sent Roquan Smith

It's early April, which means NFL news is hard to come by and the writers are BORED. 

With that in mind, it makes sense that re-drafts are starting to pop up everywhere. The season may be over but the content never ends!!! 

Sports Illustrated released their 2018 redraft this morning, and wouldn't you know it, we've got some Takes. 

The take that most applies to you, the reader? Having Bears' LB Roquan Smith fall all the way to #14, drafted by [checks notes] [GASPS] The Packers! Here's what they say:

Again, this isn’t a reflection of Smith having a bad rookie season—he was great. While it’s not precisely the haunting edge defender Mike Pettine’s defense needed, Smith can play in any system and cover almost anyone. He’s valuable anywhere.

Rude. 

For the Bears, SI has them taking Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson: 

The Bears are doing backflips in their facility with this pick. The most pro-ready offensive lineman in five years tumbles to them, giving them a decade of Pro Bowls to pair with Kyle Long. Also, Dwayne Johnson is president.

Redrafts: great for when you want to get mad for no reason! 

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Packers WR and longtime Bears nemesis Jordy Nelson announces retirement

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USA Today

Packers WR and longtime Bears nemesis Jordy Nelson announces retirement

Bears fans will be happy to know that Aaron Rodgers-to-Jordy Nelson will only haunt them in their dreams now. 

Nelson, who played 10 of his 11 seasons alongside Rodgers in Green Bay, is hanging it up: 

He was a thorn in the Bears' side over the last decade, going 14-3 against them in his 17 career matchups. Over that stretch, Nelson hauled in 1060 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 62.4 yards per game against Chicago. Of the four games in which Nelson had 10+ receptions, two of them came against the Bears, both of them at Soldier Field. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.