Bears

Game by game: Breaking down the Bears’ 2018 schedule, opponents and TV stations

Welcome to prime time, Matt Nagy.

The new Bears coach will have his first two games broadcast to the nation at night — the opener against the rival Packers at Lambeau Field, followed by a ‘‘Monday Night Football’’ matchup against the Seahawks at Soldier Field. No pressure.

Here’s how the Bears’ 2018 schedule, released Thursday, shapes up:

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Mitch Trubisky takes the snap against the Packers last season at Soldier Field. The Bears will open the 2018 season in Green Bay. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Week 1

Sept. 9 at Packers, 7:20 p.m. (Ch. 5): The best victory of John Fox’s coaching career with the Bears came in 2015 at Lambeau Field. Since then, the Bears have lost there twice — by a combined score of 61-24.

Week 2

Sept. 17 vs. Seahawks, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN): The Bears have beaten the Seahawks at home twice in the last 11 seasons, both times in the playoffs. It’s the first time the Bears have started a season with two prime-time games.

Week 3

Sept. 23 at Cardinals, 3:25 p.m. (Fox-32): The Mike Glennon revenge game? Only if starter Sam Bradford is hurt in the first two weeks, which wouldn’t be out of character.

Week 4

Sept. 30 vs. Buccaneers, noon (Fox-32): This will be the fifth consecutive season the Bears play the Bucs, a result of their poor records the season before.

Week 5

Bye.

Week 6

Oct. 14 at Dolphins, noon (Fox-32): Adam Gase will face the Bears for the first time since he left his offensive-coordinator job to
become the Dolphins’ coach after the 2015 season. He will bring new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains with him.

Week 7

Oct. 21 vs. Patriots, noon (Ch. 2): The only time Tom Brady played at Soldier Field, he threw for 369 yards in a 29-point victory. This will be his last trip to Chicago — unless he’s still playing at 49.

Week 8

Oct. 28 vs. Jets, noon (Ch. 2): The Jets’ rookie quarterback, whomever they take next week, might be starting by then. Sorry, Josh McCown.

Week 9

Nov. 4 at Bills, noon (Fox-32): The last time the Bears won in Buffalo, Dan Hampton was a rookie and Nagy was 18 months old. It was 1979.

Week 10

Nov. 11 vs. Lions, noon (Fox-32): The Lovie Curse? Since the Bears fired Smith after beating the Lions in their 2012 season finale, they’re 1-9 against their NFC North rivals.

Week 11

Nov. 18 vs. Vikings, noon (Fox-32): Will quarterback Kirk Cousins be worth his guaranteed $84 million? The Vikings should know before they face the Bears for the first time.

Week 12

Nov. 22 at Lions, 11:30 a.m. (Ch. 2): The game will mark the Bears’ 35th Thanksgiving Day contest, dating to their inaugural season, when they beat the Chicago Tigers in 1920. It will be the teams’ second meeting in 12 days.

Week 13

Dec. 2 at Giants, noon (Fox-32): Twelve of the Bears’ 22 starters from their game Nov. 20, 2016, at MetLife Stadium are no longer on the roster.

Week 14

Dec. 9 vs. Rams, noon (Fox-32): After winning the offseason, the Rams might be the best team the Bears play all season.

Week 15

Dec. 16 vs. Packers, noon (Fox-32): Five of the Bears’ six NFC North games come in the second half of the season. ‘‘Division games are always important — for a lot of reasons,’’ Nagy said Thursday. ‘‘People can say the tiebreakers and things of that nature. For us . . . we need to just understand the importance that it has.’’

Week 16

Dec. 23 at 49ers, 3:05 p.m. (Fox-32): The Jimmy Garoppolo Experience started last season against the Bears, when he joined the 49ers’ starting lineup and won his first of five consecutive games. The quarterback might be playing for a playoff berth the next time he sees his hometown team.

Week 17

Dec. 30 at Vikings, noon (Fox-32): This will be the fourth time in the last five years the Bears will finish the season in Minneapolis.
Nagy won’t have to worry about being fired afterward, the way Marc Trestman and Fox were.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE

The Bears released their preseason schedule Thursday, too:

Thursday, Aug. 2, vs. Ravens in Hall of Fame Game in Canton Ohio, 7 p.m. (Ch. 5)

Thursday, Aug. 9, at Bengals, 6 p.m. (Fox-32)

Saturday, Aug. 18, at Broncos, 8:05 p.m. (Fox-32)

Saturday, Aug. 25, vs. Chiefs, noon (Fox-32)

Thursday, Aug. 30, vs. Bills, 7 p.m. (Fox-32)