The NFL’s Schedule Release Day is the biggest non-holiday in the world. Not because it’s boring, or because no one cares but because social media leaks the entire thing and no one actually watches on ESPN. Roughly 82 percent of people either already know or they just wait for their favorite team to post the creative video announcement on their Twitter page. Everyone is interested, but no one is really interested.
We’re obviously only into what’s going on with our Chicago Bears and the 2023 schedule provides a lot to be excited about. So let’s break it down, week by week, highlighting our favorite matchups, amplifying the most important games, and delivering a season record when it’s all said and done.
Oh, also, here is the Bears’ schedule release video for your entertainment value.
Week 1 | Sun, Sept 10 at 3:25pm | Green Bay Packers
The first game of the “Jordan Love Era” comes at Soldier Field. Can you think of anything more fitting than handing Green Bay a loss in the first game of their post-Aaron Rodgers’ life? Bears start the season 1-0 at home.
Week 2 | Sun, Sept 17 at 12pm | at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
So, the Bears begin the 2023 season with the Packers first game of the post-Aaron Rodgers era and then the Buccaneers in the game of the post-Tom Brady era. Baker Mayfield, the Bucs presumed starter is trash and while it’s a road game for the Bears, this is a winnable game. Bears start 2-0.
Week 3 | Sun, Sept 24 at 3:35pm | at Kansas City Chiefs
There aren’t rides at Six Flags that could spin this into a win. Of course, Sunday comes and anything can happen but it’s a safe gamble to say that the Bears short two-game win streak ends with a trip to the toughest stadium in America at the hands of the defending Super Bowl Champions.
Week 4 | Sun, Oct 1 at 12pm | Denver Broncos
2022 was an abysmal season for the Denver Broncos and 2023 looks to be an improvement with head coach Sean Payton in town. However, the Bears are also a much improved team and the luxury of an October home game in Chicago gives the Bears a slight edge in this cross-conference matchup, however, a veteran-laden roster and coach give Denver a slightly bigger one. Bears lose a close field goal game.
Week 5 | Thu, Oct 5 at 7:15pm | at Washington Commanders
The Washington Commanders will have new ownership by the time this game is played so that instantly makes them better. But at this point, the Commanders might be one of the worst rosters in the NFC. The Bears lost to the Commanders in a 12-7 barnburner in 2022 and get their revenge this year in Week 5.
Week 6 | Sun, Oct 15 at 12pm | Minnesota Vikings
Even with Kirk Cousins still at the helm in Minneapolis, the Vikings expect to be the toast of the NFC North this season. Or maybe they’ll flop, that defense is suspect at best. However, as division foes the Vikings are always a test for the Bears. The Vikings are 5-1 in their last six matchups against the Bears and it’s unlikely the Bears reverse course with a sweep in 2023, but will they steal a victory in Minnesota or will they hold serve at home? The Bears get 10 days to prepare for Minnesota after a Thursday night matchup in Week 5, and that coupled with a home game, the Bears take this Week 6 matchup and move to 4-2.
Week 7 | Sun, Oct 22 at 12pm | Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders are a real wild card on the 2023 schedule. Not just for the Bears but for a lot of teams. They have assets, but they also have Josh McDaniels. And with new QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, in town the new look Raiders offense hopes not to skip a beat. Will they have success in that in the league’s toughest division? The joy of the Bears 2023 schedule is that it starts off fairly easy (outside of Kansas City, of course). All games outside of that one are fairly winnable on paper. These are the games you must win if you want to find yourself in the playoff hunt at the end of the year and I think these Bears have that this season. Bears win nicely here 27-13.
Week 8 | Sun, Oct 29 at 7:20pm | at Los Angeles Chargers
This is where things begin to get difficult with a stretch of 5 games before the bye week with 4 of which being on the road and the 5th coming on a short week. Having to head to Los Angeles and face off against the Chargers is no easy task, though LAC has been known to drop the ball (no pun intended) in primetime home games in recent memory. That being said, I’m not 100 percent sure this young Bears team is ready for the bright lights of LA on Sunday Night Football just yet. I’m taking Chargers here in a game that’s competitive in the first half but starts to break open in the second.
Week 9 | Sun, Nov 5 at 12pm | at New Orleans Saints
Los Angeles and New Orleans in back to back weeks is a young man’s dream…if you’re not there for work. The Saints are another team that enters 2023 with a ton of question marks, but perhaps the one that’s been the biggest answered question of the offseason is at quarterback. Derek Carr is in town now and NO can finally stop with the Taysom Hill crap once and for all. Carr leads a group that presents youth and experience but maybe doesn’t all quite fit together. Regardless, the Big Easy is a loud, difficult place to play and this is generally a point in the schedule where true colors are shown. I have the Bears losing a tight one here in what should ultimately be a winnable game.
Week 10 | Thu, Nov 9 at 7:15pm | Carolina Panthers
If there’s any single game on the schedule that’s considered a “must-win” game it’s this one. You’re probably like WTH Brian why, it’s the Panthers? Well, this game goes a long way when it comes to potential draft picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. Obviously the Bears own the Panthers first round pick after trading down with Carolina this year. It would be such a Bears move to lose this game with the ability to help knock the Panthers up the draft board. But not this year. The Bears get a Thursday Night Game at home and they take care of business, which is a welcome change from recent seasons.
Week 11 | Sun, Nov 19 at 12pm | at Detroit Lions
The Lions are perhaps the biggest question mark in the entire NFL this season. On one hand, they are trending upwards after finishing 2022 by winning eight of their final 10 games and in contention for a playoff berth on the final day of the season. The other side says regression is coming. So which one is it? By no means do I think the Lions are ready to contend for a Super Bowl but they are good. Divisional games are tough in the NFC North as is and having back to back on the road after 10 games without a bye week is even tougher. This is likely the spot where the Bears are really struggling to stay healthy and grind out victories. I have Lions here by a touchdown at home.
Week 12 | Mon, Nov 27 at 7:15pm | at Minnesota Vikings
See above. Bears have a Monday Night Football tilt with the Vikings while looking ahead to a much needed bye week. This is a classic lookahead sleepwalk game unfortunately. Not much more to say about it other than hopefully the Vikings are sleepwalking too. Vikings in an ugly one.
Week 13 | BYE
Week 14 | Sun, Dec 10 at 12pm | Detroit Lions
I just think the Lions are too well-rounded this season. Coming off the bye week the Bears get extra time to rest, but ultimately the Lions have true divisional title aspirations and Dan Campbell will have them ready to run through a wall week in and week out down the stretch. I see a field goal game either side but this feels like one the Bears historically let slip away.
Week 15 | Sun, Dec 17 at TBD | at Cleveland Browns
This is one of those 50/50 games in December that you look back on after the season and pinpoint exactly what went right or what went wrong. The Browns have pieces: Watson, Chubb, an elite offensive line, defensive talent, but the Browns haven’t been able to put it together fully in recent years. This may be the year they do that. It may not be. But going to the Dawg Pound is a tall order when those rowdy fans are liquored up in the cold screaming obscenities at Justin Fields. Also, the last time the Bears played the Browns it was a living hell in Fields’ first career game. I’m not sure the Bears have it in them to pull this one out.
Week 16 | Sun, Dec 24 at 3:25pm | Arizona Cardinals
Without Kyler Murray the Arizona Cardinals are pretty much dead in the water in 2023. Honestly, they’re pretty DOA with him too as the roster as a whole is not good but by this point the Cardinals anticipate fighting for the No. 1 overall pick and that means resting guys on the injury fence, some players might already be shut down for the year, and Arizona will be throwing out John Skelton in a 5 degree day in Chicago. Bears win this one and it’s probably going to be fairly gross overall. But a W is a W.
Week 17 | Sun, Dec 31 at 12pm | Atlanta Falcons
Dome teams that play on the road in December are not good. Let alone having to go to Soldier Field on New Year’s Eve it’s going to be cold. The Falcons have a career 38-70 record on the road in December and I’m sure if I broke that down even more and filtered games played in less than 30 degree weather it’d be even worse. Bears win this one handily.
Week 18 | Sun, Jan 7 at TBD | at Green Bay Packers
How poetic. The Bears have a chance to go 9-8 and secure a winning record but have to go to Green Bay to do it. We’ve seen this story play out over and over again and I get it, Aaron Rodgers is no longer there but sometimes it just feels like it doesn’t matter.
So there you have it. The Chicago Bears schedule breakdown leaves me extremely optimistic to the direction of this team. 8-9 most likely misses out on the playoffs but it’s a vast improvement on 2022 and should give Bears fans hope that 2024 is the year everything comes together. And if you have issues with my picks, go yell at a wall or something.
Featured Image Credit: Bears’ Schedule Release Video via YouTube