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Bears 2019 schedule: Analysis, storylines, TV info and game times

There’s no better way to ring in the 100th season of Bears football than with the NFL’s showcase game, which is usually reserved for the Super Bowl champs.

Head coach Matt Nagy celebrates with his team after an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Chicago.
AP Photos

Breaking down the Bears’ 2019 schedule:

Week 1: Thursday, Sept. 5 vs. Packers, 7:20 p.m. (Ch. 5)

There’s no better way to ring in the 100th season of Bears football than with the NFL’s showcase game, which is usually reserved for the Super Bowl champs. The opener will mark the 199th meeting of the two rivals, with the Packers leading 97-95-6. The Packers’ Matt LaFleur will make his head-coaching debut.

Week 2: Sept. 15 at Broncos, 3:25 p.m. (Fox-32)

Vic Fangio, who left his job as Bears defensive coordinator to become a first-time head coach at 60, makes his home debut. Five Broncos position coaches used to work for the Bears. In addition, Fangio’s assistant special teams coach is Robbie Gould’s brother and his coaching assistant is Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand’s son.

Week 3: Monday, Sept. 23 at Redskins, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN)

The last time the Bears traveled to play the Redskins, quarterback Jay Cutler tore his groin. The 4-2 Bears lost when the Redskins scored a touchdown in the final minute. With Cutler starting only 11 games that season, the Bears went 8-8 and missed the playoffs by one game.

Week 4: Sept. 29 vs. Vikings, 3:25 p.m. (Ch. 2)

The Bears will debut their 1936 throwback uniform set — a white jersey with navy and orange shoulder stripes, plain navy pants, candy-striped socks and a Michigan-like helmet. The uniform, which commemorates the franchise’s 100th season, will return for the Cowboys game.

Week 5: Oct. 6 vs. Raiders in London, noon (Fox-32)

Khalil Mack’s reunion with the Raiders will be the first-ever NFL game held at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which features a grass soccer field that retracts to reveal an artificial turf field used for NFL games. The stadium will hold an American football game in back-to-back October weekends.

Week 6: Bye

Week 7: Oct. 20 vs. Saints, 3:25 p.m. (Fox-32)

This is where we find out if the Bears are a true Super Bowl contender. After playing four of their first five games against teams with losing records last year — the only one above .500, the Vikings, went 8-7-1 — the Bears face the Saints, who went 13-3 and were an awful call away from representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. The Bears have a bye to prepare for their test.

Week 8: Oct. 27 vs. Chargers, noon (Fox-32)

When he faces the orange-clad Bears, Chargers edge rusher Joey Bosa will play his first-ever game in the city that made his family infamous. Bosa’s great-grandfather was Tony Accardo. Nicknamed “Joey Batters,” Accardo started off as Al Capone’s bodyguard and eventually became the boss of the Chicago Outfit.

Week 9: Nov. 3 at Eagles, noon (Fox-32)

The Bears get a playoff rematch, but with Jordan Howard on the other sideline. Fun fact: Cody Parkey’s double-doink helped spark the St. Louis Blues’ Stanley Cup run. Five Blues players watched the game at a Philadelphia bar and saw rowdy fans request the disco song “Gloria” from the DJ during commercial breaks. The Blues brought their new theme song back to St. Louis and started their hot streak.

Week 10: Nov. 10 vs. Lions, noon (Ch. 2)

The Bears played the Lions twice in 11 days last season, winning both games despite quarterback Mitch Trubisky hurting his shoulder against the Vikings, a game played in between the two Lions contests. This year, the two teams have a whopping 18 days between their games.

Week 11: Nov. 17 at Rams, 7:20 p.m. (Ch. 5)

The rematch of the Bears’ 2018 coming-out party happens out west. In the first 12 weeks of the season, the Bears will play games in four American time zones — Pacific, Mountain, Central and Eastern — plus British Summer Time, which is six hours ahead of Chicago. The Bears have played only four games in Pacific time since 2013, winning three.

Week 12: Nov. 24 vs. Giants, noon (Fox-32)

The 2018 schedule had the Bears playing seven of their eight home games at noon. When they started hot, two of those were flexed to night games. This year, the league scheduled only three noon contests at Soldier Field — call it the price of being good. The Bears will wear a white helmet sticker, which made its debut in 1962, and gray facemasks against the Giants.

Week 13: Thursday, Nov. 28 at Lions, 11:30 a.m. (Fox-32)

The Bears are playing a road game on Thanksgiving for the fourth time since 2014. They’re 18-15-2 all-time on Turkey Day and have won two straight. They beat the Packers by four in 2015 and topped the Lions by a touchdown last year.

Week 14: Thursday, Dec. 5 vs. Cowboys, 7:20 p.m. (Fox-32/NFL Network)

Both the Bears and Cowboys, who host a game every Thanksgiving, have a full week to prepare for their Soldier Field matchup. More fortuitously, the Bears will then have 10 days to get ready for their rivals the following week. The Cowboys have won the week after Thanksgiving in five consecutive years, starting with a thumping of the Bears at Soldier Field in 2014.

Week 15: Dec. 15 at Packers, noon (Fox-32)

The Bears return to the scene of Matt Nagy’s toughest regular-season loss — last year’s opener, in which a hobbled Aaron Rodgers rallied the Packers from a 20-0 deficit to win. The loss fueled the Bears throughout last season. Even 15 months later, Nagy and the Bears will want revenge.

Week 16: Dec. 22 vs. Chiefs, 7:20 p.m. (Ch. 5)

For the sixth time this decade, Soldier Field will host a reigning NFL MVP when quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the Chiefs into town. Expect plenty of prime-time storylines about Nagy’s friendship with mentor Andy Reid, the Chiefs’ head coach. Oh yeah, the playoffs could be at stake for both teams.

Week 17: Dec. 29 at Vikings, noon (Fox-32)

The Bears will end their toughest month of the year at the same place they’ve finished five of the last six seasons. Nagy hopes to be as successful as he was last December, when the Bears went 4-1. By contrast, the previous eight Bears teams combined for only eight December wins.

Looking ahead: Super Bowl LIV

Feb. 2, 2020, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida