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Bears Schedule Released

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Apr 6, 2006 7:30PM

The NFL released the 2006 schedule today, so we thought we'd take a first look at the Bears' 2006 schedule.

2005_04_sports_bears_C_logo.gifThe Bears open the season against their biggest rivals -- the Green Bay Packers. Will Brett Favre still be their QB then? He has yet to indicate whether he's returning or retiring. Either way, the Bears can expect a win their opening game because the Packers will be pretty bad. Is it really a Bears-Packers game at Lambeau when it's likely to be 80 degrees, though? That's just not right! They don't meet again until the final week of the season. Soldier Field should be nice and frigid for that one.

The Bears follow their trip to Green Bay with two additional games against NFC North opponents, facing Detroit and Minnesota in weeks 2 and 3. We should have a pretty good idea, then, by the the end of Week 3 whether the Bears are in fact the team to beat.

The first thing Chicagoist does each year when the NFL releases its schedule, is to see whether the Bears have any Monday Night Football games. Sure enough, because of last year's 11-5 finish, the Bears play on Monday night twice. They play the Cardinals in Arizona on October 16 and on December 11 they play the Rams in St. Louis. Why no MNF at Soldier Field, though?

As the schedule currently stands, the Bears only other prime time game is a Sunday night matchup with the NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks on October 1. A successful season may mean additional prime time game at the end of the season, however, because the NFL and their TV partners have finally agreed to flexible scheduling.

In weeks 10-15 and week 17, the NFL will select which game moves to the prime time slot for ESPN's Sunday Night Football. We see the November 26 game at New England and the December 17 game against Tampa Bay as the most likely to get Sunday's headline billing.

We know it's very early -- free agency is still in full swing and the draft is still weeks away -- but we foresee a 12-4 season for the Bears. Their offense can only improve, whether Rex Grossman or Brian Griese is their QB. And the defense returns pretty much in tact from last year's squad.