Now that the NFL has officially released their schedule, we all know exactly how the Chicago Bears 2014 season will shape up. They have five prime time games on the schedule and a nationally televised Thanksgiving day match up waiting. All in all, it's a very nice schedule for Bears fans.
I wonder how the coaches and players feel about it, however?
Prime time games always bring an air of excitement for the players, but the time difference tends to get them off schedule. Many coaches and players are creatures of habit, so we'll have to wait to see how the Bears deal with the scheduling quirks.
The biggest anomaly in their 17 weeks is the brutal stretch of road games the Bears must face to open their season. They are blessed with week one at home, but then must travel for six of their next eight games. Luckily they have their bye week smack dab in the middle of their schedule, week 9, so they can catch their breath and heal up before visiting Lambeau Field.
Converse to their open is a favorable slate of home games down the stretch. Five of their next six games are at Soldier Field, before finishing week 17 at the Minnesota Vikings' 2014 home field, The University Of Minnesota.
If you were wondering why the Bears are away so often in the first half, Peter King of the Monday Morning Quarterback found the answers.
If you are a Rugby fan -- Calling Spongie! -- you may be interested in the November 1st game at Soldier Field between the U.S. rugby team and the New Zealand All Blacks. With the shoddy sod at Soldier Field, the NFL was concerned that the rugby game, coupled with potentially sloppy conditions, would lead to an even worse playing condition for a November 2nd Bears home game. So the Bears received their bye in week nine.
The annual Chicago Marathon falls during week six, and with the start and finish line being in the parking lot of Soldier Field, the Bears will end up booking flights to Atlanta.
The Chicagoland Speedway has a NASCAR event planned for the NFL's second weekend, so it was probably best for the Bears to vacate the city and travel to San Francisco for Sunday Night Football. The Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola is on Sunday, September 14th, if you're into that sort of thing.
If you haven't seen the Bears' schedule you can do so here.
What do you think about the stretch of road games that the Bears will need to navigate in the first half of their season?