With training camp starting up in less than week (And the peasants rejoiced!), I think it's high time we got back into looking at the 2013 schedule a bit. And to start, I'd like to put forth a simple question - which game do you think, at this point, is the most pivotal game of the schedule - the one that could turn the season?
As a reminder, here's the schedule upon its release just prior to the draft:
And here's the final post indicating the combined staff opinion. We broke the schedule down into quarters and the staff took turns picking out what would happen in each game of the season, and it turned into a collaborative 11-5 record:
So with that being said, looking at the schedule, it's hard to ignore that Week 9 game against the Packers at Lambeau, a Monday night affair coming off the week 8 bye. There's also that week 2 matchup against the Vikings, which could be a fair barometer of the team in the early going. Just three weeks later the Bears draw the Saints, and then the Giants, and then the Redskins. That's a horrible stretch to go through, and if the Bears are just above .500 after that stretch, winning game 8 against the Packers would be huge heading into the remainder of the season.
With the way the season starts off for the Bears, a win against the Packers in game 8 to push them just above .500 would set them up well for a playoff berth. I can see it being a game they'll absolutely have to have.
That's my nomination for most pivotal game of 2013 before any have been played. What's your choice?