There is so much unknown about the 2021 Chicago Bears.
Who’s at quarterback? Will Allen Robinson catch passes from them? Is there ample protection from the offensive line? Does the defense churn out another top-tier performance? Can the kicking game continue to be a strength? That’s a small sample of questions whizzing around my head.
But one thing we do know about the 2021 Bears is their list of opponents and where they’ll play in 2021:
On to 2021. pic.twitter.com/5jDOrg65su
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 15, 2021
There is no such thing as an easy NFL schedule, and that figures to be the case again for the Bears in 2021. Next year’s list of opponents features a date with the defending Super Bowl champions Buccaneers, who happen to be one of seven opponents who made the postseason in 2020.
Chicago’s road slate of games is flat-out daunting. Six of eight contests are against teams that made the playoffs, including four teams who won at least one game. The top dogs in this bunch are the Bucs, but the Bears also have road bouts against the Browns, Steelers, Rams, Seahawks, and Packers.
And while the home schedule seems a bit more favorable, it’s still got some whoppers on it. The Ravens are one of the Bears’ seven opponents who made it to this year’s postseason. But at least they’ll play this one at home. Had the Cardinals taken care of business late in the season, they would’ve made for yet another playoff team. And then we have the Giants, who were an Eagles tank job in the SNF season finale away from winning the NFC East.
Oh, and this doesn’t factor in the possibility of a 17th game. The NFL has been leaning toward tacking on another game to the 2021 calendar. To that end, SI.com’s Albert Breer reports on the projected inter-conference rotation that would have the same-place finishers in the NFC North playing the AFC West. For the Bears, it means a game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Anyone up for a Vegas trip? You know I always am…
Altogether, the Bears play eight games against seven opponents who made the playoffs last year. There are also games against the 49ers and Vikings, who are just one season removed from being in the playoffs. All in all, GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy are looking at an up-hill climb in what is being made out to be must-win season. Good luck with that.