No set of games is ever the what it appears and the Chicago Bears know that as they prepare to tackle the 2014 NFL schedule. How will things go for them?
Week 1 vs. Buffalo Bills
Playing four out of the first six games on the road means the Bears absolutely have to have this one. The Buffalo Bills had their moments last year but they’re still finding their way with second year quarterback E.J. Manuel.
Week 2 at San Francisco 49ers
Levi’s Stadium opens its doors for the first time and who would’ve thought the San Francisco 49ers would christen it with the Chicago Bears? They certainly hope it yields results similar to that ugly 32-7 affair back in 2012.
Week 3 at New York Jets
This game is going to be decided by turnovers. Both Jay Cutler and Geno Smith have their issues with that so the question becomes can the Bears defense stop a New York Jets ground game that was top 10 last season? If they stay healthy, I believe they will.
Week 4 vs. Green Bay Packers
This game is going to see blood in the water. Chicago is still sore about their last-second defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers last season. They will look to avenge that heartbreak and also hopefully welcome former teammate Julius Peppers home.
Week 5 at Carolina Panthers
These next two road games are tough. Marc Trestman will be challenged by a really good defense of the Carolina Panthers. However, issues on offense around Cam Newton could allow the Bears to take advantage if they don’t make too many mistakes.
Week 6 at Atlanta Falcons
Was last year a blip on the radar? Time will tell for the Atlanta Falcons but either way playing in the Georgia Dome is always tough for an opponent. Chicago will need to handle the noise and execute in order to keep up with Matt Ryan.
Week 7 vs. Miami Dolphins
Ryan Tannehill was battered a lot last season. The Chicago Bears know that but should not overlook the Miami Dolphins. If they can fix lingering problems up front, they will be a problem. Home field will be decisive here.
Week 8 at New England Patriots
Trestman has never faced Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots before, let alone in Foxborough. Tom Brady is always a tough assignment and the offense will be facing a team well schooled in creating punts to give him more chances.
Week 9 BYE
Week 10 at Green Bay Packers
Last time the Chicago Bears visited Green Bay they broke Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone and knocked the Packers into a tailspin that almost ruined their season. Don’t expect lightning to strike twice.
Week 11 vs. Minnesota Vikings
Jared Allen is going to be up for this game, but so are the Bears. They still recall that ugly effort against the Minnesota Vikings last season they should’ve won in overtime but let slip away. Continuing their dominance over them at Soldier Field will help.
Week 12 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Josh McCown and Lovie Smith return to Chicago as opponents for the first time. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to be a better football team with a really good defense but the Bears, barring injuries should be able to take care of business.
Week 13 at Detroit Lions
A Thanksgiving affair marks the first matchup between the Bears and Detroit Lions. This season will mark an apex point for Detroit, who have a really good roster and should add to it in the draft. Expect them to hold serve at home here.
Week 14 vs. Dallas Cowboys
Wait. The Bears get the Dallas Cowboys in the month of December? Why not just pencil in the victory now? In all seriousness the Cowboys don’t have the look of a contender at the moment and Chicago hammered them 45-21 in their meeting last year.
Week 15 vs. New Orleans Saints
If any team is ready in the NFC for a Super Bowl run the New Orleans Saints have to be mentioned. Their defense is ready for action and Drew Brees is still the quarterback. Chicago can beat them, but it’s going to be really tough.
Week 16 vs. Detroit Lions
This game could end up meaning a lot for both teams. The Bears almost beat them twice last year and now will have a dome team on a grass field in December. Unless they fall apart completely Chicago can seize control.
Week 17 at Minnesota Vikings
The Metrodome has been a nest of nightmares for the Bears ever since the Vikings moved to it but this tussle won’t be in that building. It will take place at the University of Minnesota, outdoors in the cold. Don’t expect the noise to be a factor this time.
Final Record: 11-5
Much of the optimism comes from the great opportunity the Chicago Bears have to fortify the roster in the upcoming draft. If they can add a couple of solid talents to the mix they’ve got a good enough offense and rebuilt the defense to a point where they can steal some victories against good teams. Whether the 2014 NFL schedule breaks that way is left to be seen.
Tags: 2014 NFL Schedule Atlanta Falcons Buffalo Bills Carolina Panthers Chicago Bears Dallas Cowboys Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Miami Dolphins Minnesota Vikings New York Jets San Francisco 49ers Tampa Bay Buccaneers