With the Bears being officially eliminated from postseason contention, our eyes can start to shift away from a disappointing 2019 season and toward the new hope that will come when the calendar turns to 2020.
Among the things we’ll find ourselves looking forward to next year is the schedule. And as things currently stand, it might not be as daunting as the one the team will complete this season. That isn’t to say the Bears have an easy schedule for 2020, but the team has clinched a slate of games against third-place teams in the NFC East and West divisions, along with contests against each team from the NFC South (which currently has just one team above .500) and AFC South (which has three teams that could still conceivably finish at 8-8 or better).
With that being said, here is a breakdown of what we know of the Bears’ 2020 schedule:
- HOME GAMES: Packers (11-3), Vikings (10-4), Lions (3-10-1), Texans (9-5), Saints (11-3), Buccaneers (7-7), Colts (6-8)
- ROAD GAMES: Packers, Vikings, Lions, Rams (8-6), Titans (8-6), Falcons (5-9), Panthers (5-9), Jaguars (5-9)
In addition to the Bears’ yearly trips to Green Bay, Minnesota, and Detroit, next year’s road slate will feature first-time trips to So-Fi Stadium, the Rams’ new digs in Inglewood, as well as Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Falcons’ new-ish home in Atlanta that opened in 2017. The team will also make its first trip to Nashville and Jacksonville for the first time since 2012.
The one spot on the schedule that has yet to be filled is a home game against the NFC East third-place finisher. Both Washington and New York have matching 3-11 records, so it is most likely that the winner of Sunday’s showdown between the two teams will decide who the Bears will face in Chicago next season.
At first glance, this upcoming schedule features four playoff teams (Packers, Saints, Vikings, Texans), four opponents who could finish at 8-8 or better (Buccaneers, Colts, Rams, Titans), and just six games against teams who are guaranteed to finish 2019 with a losing record (Lions (twice), Falcons, Panthers, Jaguars, Giants/Redskins).
Sigh, just because the Bears play a third-place schedule doesn’t mean a walk in the park is on the horizon. Then again, the Bears could conceivably be one of those teams with a losing record if they fall in their final two games of the regular season. Gulp!