Which announcers will call Bears games this season? Here are my picks

Of 11 Bears games on FOX last season, Joe Davis and Daryl Johnston called five, and Adam Amin and Mark Schlereth called three.

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How many Bears games will Daryl Johnston (left) and Joe Davis call this season?

FOX Sports

NFL teams don’t have local TV announcers during the regular season. But it sure didn’t feel that way here last season, when FOX sent Joe Davis and Daryl Johnston to five of 11 Bears games on the network. FOX also sent Adam Amin and Mark Schlereth to three, making them a veritable Bears B team.

Broadcasting assignments don’t usually end up like that. In 2021, for example, different crews called each of the Bears’ first six games on FOX. Two of the crews repeated only once each for the season.

The repetition last season was fluky. Having FOX’s Nos. 2 and 3 crews so often said more about the opponent than the 3-14 Bears. And from what we know of the 2023 broadcast schedule, that holds true.

Here’s my annual attempt to predict which crews will call each Bears game. FOX announced its crews for Weeks 1-3, and we know the national crews. The rest are based on intuition and preference.

Keep in mind, this is the first season of the NFL’s NFL’s 11-year, $110 billion media-rights deal, which makes all games, in the words of NFL vice president of broadcast planning Mike North, ‘‘free agents.’’ Though NFC teams still have a minimum number of appearances on longtime home FOX (same for AFC teams on CBS), the NFL has more flexibility to air games on whichever network it chooses for maximum visibility. That’s why two of the Bears’ three games on CBS are against NFC teams.

Week 1: vs. Packers, 3:25 p.m., FOX: The rivalry usually gets at least one showcase window. Kevin Burkhardt and former Bears tight end Greg Olsen will be in town for ‘‘America’s Game of the Week.’’

Week 2: at Buccaneers, noon, FOX: Davis and Johnston have the call — again.

Week 3: at Chiefs, 3:25 p.m., FOX: Don’t flatter yourselves, Bears. FOX put Burkhardt and Olsen here for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.

Week 4: vs. Broncos, noon, CBS: The top crew of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo probably will be at Dolphins-Bills. But Russell Wilson-Justin Fields is an interesting quarterback matchup, and CBS generally treats the Bears well. The No. 2 crew of Ian Eagle and Charles Davis belongs here.

Week 5: at Commanders, 7:15 p.m., Prime Video: Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit get this matchup again. They sure didn’t enjoy it last season.

Week 6: vs. Vikings, noon, FOX: If the Lions live up to the hype, their game at the Bucs could take priority. But this might be a battle of 3-2 teams and FOX’s second-best game of the day. You know what that means: Davis and Johnston.

Week 7: vs. Raiders, noon, FOX: Steelers-Rams in the late window figures to draw Burkhardt and Olsen. Lions-Ravens could be appealing enough to draw Davis and Johnston. That would send (Bulls TV voice) Amin and Schlereth to Chicago. Or, in Amin’s case, down the street.

Week 8: at Chargers, 7:20 p.m., NBC: Is the Bears’ first game against the Chargers in Los Angeles significant enough to merit ‘‘Sunday Night Football’’? No. But Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth will call it anyway.

Week 9: at Saints, noon, CBS: Nantz and Romo figure to be at Colts-Panthers for Anthony Richardson-Bryce Young. Seahawks-Ravens, starring Lamar Jackson, should draw Eagle and Davis. That would send the great Kevin Harlan and Trent Green to New Orleans.

Week 10: vs. Panthers, 7:15 p.m., Prime Video: Speaking of Bryce Young, Michaels and Herbstreit will call his game against the team that passed on drafting him. They probably will bring that up.

Week 11: at Lions, noon, FOX: When was the last time a No. 1 crew called a Bears-Lions game that wasn’t on Thanksgiving? Dec. 21, 2014, when the visiting Lions improved to 11-4 and dropped the Bears to 5-10. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman called it for FOX. Kevin Kugler and Mark Sanchez will call this one.

Week 12: at Vikings, 7:15 p.m., ESPN: Speaking of Buck and Aikman, they’ll call this game. We don’t know yet whether the Manning brothers will, too.

Week 13: Bye.

Week 14: vs. Lions, noon, FOX: It’s not a great lineup for FOX, though it does get Lamar Jackson again. FOX can save on airfare by letting Amin call it with Schlereth. The Bulls are off that day, so everybody wins.

Week 15: at Browns, TBD: This is among five games that could be moved to fill three windows Saturday on NFL Network. That last happened to the Bears in 2017, when their game in Detroit was moved.

Week 16: vs. Cardinals, 3:25 p.m., FOX: Cowboys-Dolphins will be ‘‘America’s Game of the Week,’’ limiting distribution for Cards-Bears. Kugler and Sanchez return.

Week 17: vs. Falcons, noon, CBS: This game could get buried behind Patriots-Bills and Dolphins-Ravens. Say hello to Andrew Catalon, Tiki Barber and former Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

Week 18: at Packers, TBD: Every game is TBD. This one figures to be on FOX and — let’s be honest — doesn’t figure to mean a whole lot. Last on the network depth chart are Chris Myers and Robert Smith.

NFL BROADCAST CREWS

(Play-by-play, analyst, sideline reporter)

FOX

Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, Tom Rinaldi

Joe Davis, Daryl Johnston, Pam Oliver

Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink

Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake

Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin

Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

CBS

Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson

Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, Evan Washburn

Kevin Harlan, Trent Green, Melanie Collins

Andrew Catalon, Tiki Barber, Matt Ryan, AJ Ross

Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta

Tom McCarthy, James Lofton, Jay Feely

Chris Lewis, Jason McCourty, Ross Tucker

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