2015 NFL Schedule Release: The Bears Have A Tough Start and Low Key Season Ahead

2015 NFL Schedule Release: The Bears Have A Tough Start and Low Key Season Ahead
The Chicago Bears take the field in a game Dallas Cowboys on December 4, 2014 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Chicago Bears 41-28. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

A season ago the Bears finished 5-11, playing the 15th hardest schedule, this season they face the 13th hardest.

The exact week-by-week regular season schedule was announced on Tuesday as the Bears prepare for the NFL draft and the summer ahead.

The NFL schedule makers handed the Bears only two primetime games. Both of them will come on the road with the first landing in Week 9 on Monday Night Football and the other is on Thanksgiving night in Green Bay in Week 12 on Sunday Night Football.

Week 1-Week 3

The Bears have a brutal start to the season with matchups at home against Green Bay and Arizona in the first two weeks before a Week 3 road matchup in Seattle.

The three NFC teams combined for a 35-13 record as they all advanced to the playoffs. Don't forget that Seattle has only lost two home games over the last three seasons, so winning even one of their first three games will be a tall task for John Fox and the Bears.

This is only the third time since 1995 that the Bears will play their first two games of the season at Soldier Field. Interestingly enough, the previous two came with new coaches (Dick Jauron, 1999 and Marc Trestman, 2013).

The Bears-Packers rivalry which is the oldest in all of sports and dates back to 1921 with 190 games played will see the two battle in the season opener for just the third time ever.

Week 4-Week 7

After the hard three-game stretch to open the season, the Bears return home for a Week 4 matchup with Oakland before traveling to Kansas City and Detroit the following weeks.

They have an early Week 7 bye.

Week 8-Week 10

They return from the off to week to host Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings.

Then they'll finally play in their first primetime game against San Diego in Week 9. They travel once again the following week to St. Louis to take on the Rams which should make Kyle Long happy since he'll get to face off with his brother Chris.

Week 11

Week 11 will have so many story lines as the Bears host Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

It marks the first time since the Jay Cutler trade in 2009 that he will play against his former team. It also marks Manning's third trip to Chicago and first since 2004. Don't forget Fox's awkward departure from Denver, where he coached the last four years. This should be an intense game and one to mark on your calendars.

Week 12

Then in Week 12, the Bears and Packers will square off for the second time in the season and this one is on the national stage. It is the first time since 1980 that the Bears will play on Thanksgiving in back-to-back seasons and the first-ever matchup against Green Bay on the holiday.

Green Bay embarrassed the Bears last season at Lambeau Field 55-14, so this one will be important for Chicago regardless of their spot in the NFC North standings.

Week 13-Week 14

The Bears host two NFC teams that aren't expected to be that good in San Francisco and Washington over the next two weeks.

Week 15-Week 17

Then they go on the road to play three teams they squared off against in 2014 in Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Detroit. Five of the Bears games can be flexed anytime from Week 5 to Week 17.

Final Thoughts

As tough as the Bears schedule is from the start, only four of their last 13 games will be played against teams that made the 2014 playoffs. With low expectations and a clear rebuild mode on notice that could bode well for the underdog Bears in 2015.

Over a two-month span from September 21 to November 21, the Bears will only play two games on their home field. That may be even harder following their first three games of the season against three of the best NFC teams from a year ago.

Overall, the Bears' expectations clearly aren't very high as they earned only two primetime matchups. With a rough start and so many road games after that it will be hard for the Bears to hang around .500 barring a huge first-year turnaround under Fox and Co.

Here's your 2015 Bears schedule:

Week 1. Sept 13 vs. Packers at noon (Fox)

Week 2. Sept. 20 vs. Cardinals at noon (Fox)

Week 3. Sept. 27 at Seahawks at 3:25 p.m. (CBS)

Week 4. Oct. 4 vs. Raiders at noon (CBS)

Week 5. Oct. 11 at Chiefs at noon (Fox)

Week 6. Oct. 18 at Lions at noon (Fox)

Week 7. Bye

Week 8. Nov. 1 vs. Vikings at noon (Fox)

Week 9. Nov. 9 at Chargers at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 10. Nov. 15 at Rams at noon (Fox)

Week 11. Nov. 22 vs. Broncos at noon (CBS)

Week 12. Nov. 26 at Packers at 7:30 p.m. (NBC)

Week 13. Dec. 6 vs. 49ers at noon (Fox)

Week 14. Dec. 13 vs. Redskins at noon (Fox)

Week 15. Dec. 20 at Vikings at noon (Fox)

Week 16: Dec. 27 at Buccaneers at noon (Fox)

Week 17. Jan. 3 vs. Lions at noon (Fox)

Thoughts on the Bears schedule for this upcoming season? Make sure to comment below.

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