Bears coach John Fox may be known for quick turnarounds and the NFL for its unpredictability, but until things start shaking out otherwise, the 2015 schedule looks challenging.
When it comes to strength of schedule, the Bears’ 2015 slate ranks 13th overall:
Week 1. Sept 13 vs. Packers at noon (Fox)
The Bears will debut a new 3-4 defense, but Aaron Rodgers is 6-2 at Soldier Field and last lost on the lakefront in 2010.
Week 2. Sept. 20 vs. Cardinals at noon (Fox)
Bruce Arians, the NFL’s reigning coach of the year, gets his first crack at the team that opted for Marc Trestman over him.
Week 3. Sept. 27 at Seahawks at 3:25 p.m. (CBS)
Oddsmakers have Seattle as the favorites to win Super Bowl 50. The Bears rate well behind them.
Week 4. Oct. 4 vs. Raiders at noon (CBS)
The Raiders’ first visit to Soldier Field since 2003 should be a victory.
Week 5. Oct. 11 at Chiefs at noon (Fox)
This is the Bears’ first game at Arrowhead Stadium since Dec. 28, 2003, ending their longest absence for any road stadium.
Week 6. Oct. 18 at Lions at noon (Fox)
Ugly stat of the day: the Bears have been swept by the Lions the past two seasons.
Week 7. Bye
Week 8. Nov. 1 vs. Vikings at noon (Fox)
Are you ready for the Adrian Peterson-less Vikings? It could happen.
Week 9. Nov. 9 at Chargers at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Quarterback Philip Rivers and safety Eric Weddle are unhappy in San Diego right now, so this could turn in the Bears’ favor.
Week 10. Nov. 15 at Rams at noon (Fox)
The Long brothers meet for the second time, and the Rams ‘D’ could be scary good.
Week 11. Nov. 22 vs. Broncos at noon (CBS)
Fox meets his former team for the first time, and a chilly November day would help against Peyton Manning.
Week 12. Nov. 26 at Packers at 7:30 p.m. (NBC)
Brett Favre is having his jersey retired on Thanksgiving night. Need we say more?
Week 13. Dec. 6 vs. 49ers at noon (Fox)
San Francisco just isn’t the same team without coach Jim Harbaugh or defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
Week 14. Dec. 13 vs. Redskins at noon (Fox)
Coach Jay Gruden’s relationship with Robert Griffin III is due to explode well before this matchup.
Week 15. Dec. 20 at Vikings at noon (Fox)
The Vikings’ new stadium won’t be finished, so it’s back to the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium.
Week 16: Dec. 27 at Buccaneers at noon (Fox)
Lovie Smith won’t say it, but this is circled on his calendar. He’s got more ex-Bears with him now, too.
Week 17. Jan. 3 vs. Lions at noon (Fox)
The Lions might be playing for playoff position. The Bears?