Two weeks ago, the Bears and the rest of the NFL released their schedules. The chatter around Chicago is growing as we approach one of the most anticipated Bears seasons in history.
Some featured games this season include Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, Thanksgiving Day, and a trip to London. 

Click here to read the first half preview, posted last week.

Let’s take a look at the second half of this season’s matchups.

Week 10 // vs New England Patriots; Sunday, 12:00 PM

Two weeks after visiting the #2 overall pick, the Bears and Williams will host the #3 pick, Drake Maye. Notably, there is a chance Jacoby Brissett earns the job over Maye, at least to begin the season. 

This quarterback mystery has bookmakers nervous, as the Bears are currently listed as 6-point favorites. This is the largest margin the Bears are favored by for the season. 

The Patriots did a good job this offseason, resigning their important pieces. In addition to adding Maye and Brissett, they also added Antonio Gibson. Regardless, there is no nice way to put it: The Patriots will stink this season. 

Ideally, the Bears and Williams will use this game to tune up for the upcoming gauntlet. No amount of confidence is too small to carry over to Packers week.

Week 11 // vs Green Bay Packers; Sunday, 12:00 PM

The season gets more challenging in week eleven as the Bears begin an 8-week adventure that includes six divisional games, a date in San Francisco, and a Thursday Night game.

This matchup will be Caleb Williams’ first divisional and true rivalry test. Williams will be looking to help the Bears end a 10-game skid versus the Packers. In this game last season, the Bears laid an egg at home, a brutal 38-20 week one loss. You can read more about the rivalry and its future here.

The Bears have improved, and this team does feel different than those of the past. Regardless, this game will be a true test, as the Packers are listed as slight favorites. 

In addition to resigning most of their key players, the Packers added Josh Jacobs and Xavier McKinney. These two teams will compete for a playoff spot so this game could have large, looming implications.

If the Bears plan on ending their skid against the Packers, this would be the game to do it. The next matchup in week 18 at Green Bay will undoubtedly be a bigger challenge for Williams and Co.

Week 12 // vs Minnesota Vikings; Sunday, 12:00 PM

Another divisional matchup, this game will feature two first-round rookie quarterbacks, Williams and J.J. McCarthy. McCarthy had a notable senior year last season, leading Michigan to a perfect record and a National Championship win. Although his numbers may be misleading, McCarthy has the qualities of a true NFL leader.

Although not on the Bears’ level, McCarthy also comes into an offense with potent weapons. Having Justin Jefferson, the best receiver in the NFL, should help McCarthy transition smoothly. In addition, they have Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson, and Aaron Jones. The Vikings are the favorite to finish last in the NFC North; however, they have some serious potential. Despite losing Danielle Hunter, the Vikings brought in solid linebacker replacements with Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel.

The Bears are currently listed as 3-point favorites in this home matchup. At home last season, the Bears fell short, 19-13, in a lackluster game from the Tyson Bagent-led offense. 

Sandwiched between Packers week and a Thanksgiving game, this could be a look-ahead spot for the Bears. Hopefully, they can maintain their focus and start off 2-0 against the North. 

Week 13 // at Detroit Lions; Thanksgiving Day, 11:30 AM

A Thanksgiving date in Detroit kicks off arguably the toughest three-game stretch on the schedule. Both teams will be coming in on short rest for this divisional matchup, which is always entertaining. 

For historical context, the Lions and Bears are both in the top three in Thanksgiving appearances. The Lions are 37-45-2, while the Bears are 20-15-2 on this date. The Lions have lost seven straight Thanksgiving games, including two to the Bears, most recently in 2021.

Coming off an NFC Championship appearance, the Lions come into this season as unanimous favorites to win the division. In addition to signing their big-name stars to contract extensions this offseason, the Lions added Kevin Zeitler, Graham Glasgow, and DJ Reader.

Despite the lack of recent Thanksgiving Day success, the Lions are currently listed as 4.5-point favorites. Regardless, this game should be close, as last season’s matchups were riveting. In Detroit last season, former Bear David Montgomery scored with under 30 seconds remaining to give the Lions a 31-26 win. The Bears revamped offensive coaching staff should help avoid poorly-coached games like this meeting last season.

Week 14 // at San Francisco 49ers; Sunday, 3:25 PM

The Bears will arguably face their biggest challenge of the season in week fourteen. The defending NFC Champions, 49ers, will play host to the Bears in Brock Purdy’s first meeting against Chicago. 

Currently, the Bears are 6.5-point underdogs, their largest underdog spread of the season. The 49ers bring back most of their starters from last season; the biggest change is the signing of Leonard Floyd. Floyd will look to fill the role Chase Young played for the 49ers last season before signing with the Saints this free agency. 

The only glimmer of trouble in paradise appears to be with the team’s leading receiver last year, Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk is currently holding out and hoping to sign a massive contract extension. It would be very notable if the 49ers happened to move on from Aiyuk via trade.

With this game being later in the year, it should serve as a true “measuring stick game” to see where the Bears stack up amongst the NFC’s best. 

Week 15 // at Minnesota Vikings; Monday, 7:00 PM

The Bears’ second matchup with Minnesota this season will be a Monday Night Football showdown. The Bears are currently listed as slight road favorites in this division rematch.

Last year, this game at Minnesota was also featured on Monday Night Football. The Bears defense shined bright with 4 interceptions against Josh Dobbs in a 12-10 road win. 

Ideally, the revamped Bears offense will be able to put on a show for the national audience against a weaker Minnesota Vikings squad. 

Week 16 // vs Detroit Lions; Sunday, 12:00 PM

The Bears finally return home after a three-game road trip to host the Lions. It can be assumed this game could shake up the playoff race. Both of these teams will be competing for the division and playoffs in week sixteen. Besides week eighteen, the argument can be made that this is the most important game to win. The best time to get hot is at the end of the year, which could be the starter game.

The Lions are currently slight road favorites in a game that will surely be close. In this game last season, Justin Fields had a good performance with 281 total yards and 2 touchdowns in a 28-13 win. The defense also stepped up, forcing 3 turnovers, including 2 interceptions.

The north currently runs through Detroit, so to be the best, you have to beat the best. Expect a great game from the Bears, with the home fans offering their full support.

Week 17 // vs Seattle Seahawks; Thursday, 7:15 PM

The Bears will host the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football in the Shane Waldron revenge game. The Bears’ new offensive coordinator will face his ex-squad for the first time since his departure this offseason.

The Seahawks are an interesting team. Their roster is solid and could compete for a wild card spot. However, the new coaching staff may hinder playoff chances this season due to the implementation of new systems on both sides of the ball. The Seahawks’ new head coach and coordinators will all be in their first season with Seattle. They still maintain an offensive core of Geno Smith, Kenneth Walker, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Jackson Smith-Njigba, and Noah Fant. 

Despite being a 9-win team returning most of its talent, the Bears are still 3.5-point favorites against Seattle. Hopefully, the Bears will handle this Thursday Night meeting and use the long week to prepare effectively for the Packers.

Week 18 // at Green Bay Packers; TBD

The final regular season game is set up to have massive stakes. Whether it be for the division or a wild card spot, this game will be a must-watch (unless one of these teams has already secured their playoff seed, but this is unlikely). Caleb Williams will be taking his first trip up north to play in the historic Lambeau Field. 

Last season’s trip to Green Bay was also in week eighteen. In that matchup, the Packers hummed to a 17-9 win against a depleted Bears roster. 

Currently, the Packers are 3-point favorites at home. The Bears will be coming off a longer break, so that should play in their favor. Realistically, if the Bears want to end the losing streak in this rivalry, it is more likely to happen at home in week eleven.

A win in Green Bay, though, would undoubtedly alter the future of this rivalry. Knowing that you can beat a team in their stadium can give you supreme confidence for future matchups.

The Bears are clearly going to be more challenged throughout the latter half of the season. Through these last nine games, the Bears are projected to go 4-5. This would bring their record to 9-8, according to oddsmakers.
Again, the best time to get hot is at the end of the year, heading into the playoffs. If they manage a winning record in these last nine weeks, it should be considered a success. It would likely mean they are playoff-bound for the first time since 2020.
This is something we can all get behind.

PHOTO: Chicago Bears

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