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The 2020 NFL schedule was released on Thursday to much fanfare. Assuming the league begins on time, the Bears will open the season on the road against division rival Detroit.

Nothing about the Bears’ schedule looks easy, with the possible exception of the first two weeks. The Lions are certainly not a great team. And while it’s never easy to play on the road in the NFL, this is a game that the Bears must win. They follow that up with a home opener against the woeful New York Giants, another must win.

Things get a little bit tougher from there. From Week 3’s trip to Atlanta through their Week 11 bye, the Bears face their toughest stretch of the season.

Indianapolis, whom the Bears face Oct. 4, is an underrated team with a stout defense and strong run game. It’s a winnable game, but they’re no pushovers. The Bears follow up that game with a quick turnaround for a Thursday night battle with Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers — that’s still weird to say, and will be even stranger to see. Then the Bears will play their third game in 15 days when they travel to Carolina to face an improved Panthers squad.

As if four consecutive games against the Falcons, Colts, Buccaneers and Panthers wasn’t bad enough, wait until you see the next quartet awaiting them.

In Week 7, the Bears travel to Los Angeles for a Monday night game against the Rams. The Bears follow that up on a short week playing host to the New Orleans Saints. In Week 9, the Bears travel to face the Tennessee Titans, one of the surprise clubs from 2019. Finally, the Bears will host division rival Minnesota on Monday Night Football before they head to a Week 11 bye.

Hopefully by that point in the season the team will be healthy. The y will come out of the bye week and play four division games in their last six weeks. They’ll start with a Sunday night game at the Packers, followed by noon home games against Detroit and Houston. Then they’ll have back-to-back away games against the Vikings and Jaguars before concluding their season at home against the Packers.

Needless to say, that season finale against Green Bay could be a pivotal one that could determine the division or a playoff spot. That, of course, is exactly what the schedule makers want to see.

2020 Chicago Bears Schedule

Week 1: Sunday, September 13, Noon — AT Detroit Lions
Week 2: Sunday, September 20, Noon — vs. New York Giants
Week 3: Sunday, September 27, Noon — AT Atlanta Falcons
Week 4: Sunday, October 4, Noon — vs. Indianapolis Colts
Week 5: Thursday, October 8, 7:20 p.m. — vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 6: Sunday, October 18, Noon — AT Carolina Panthers
Week 7: Monday, October 26, 7:15 p.m. — AT Los Angeles Rams
Week 8: Sunday, November 1, 3:25 p.m. — vs. New Orleans Saints
Week 9: Sunday, November 8, Noon — AT Tennessee Titans
Week 10: Monday, November 16, 7:15 p.m. — vs. Minnesota Vikings
Week 11: BYE
Week 12: Sunday, November 29, 7:20 p.m. — AT Green Bay Packers
Week 13: Sunday, December 6, Noon — vs. Detroit Lions
Week 14: Sunday, December 13, Noon — vs. Houston Texans
Week 15: Sunday, December 20, Noon — AT Minnesota Vikings
Week 16: Sunday, December 27, Noon — AT Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 17: Sunday, January 3, Noon — vs. Green Bay Packers

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