The NFL Knows America Wants to See More Justin Fields

The NFL wasted no time in putting the Bears and Packers in front of as many eyes as possible. Placing Chicago-Green Bay in Week 1 during the prime-afternoon slot at 3:25 p.m. CT that is generally reserved for FOX’s “America’s Game of the Week” broadcast speaks volumes to what league schedule-makers believe about what this early-season matchup can bring.

And to think, this might be just the beginning of us seeing the Bears in primetime.

In an appearance on Peter Schrager’s podcast, Mike North — who serves as the NFL’s Vice President of Broadcast Planning — was discussing what goes into piecing together and rolling out the schedule. Part of the conversation between North and Schrager circles around what time might pop up in primetime more than you might otherwise expect. Eventually, North offers up our favorite team (bold emphasis mine):

I’ll give you one. Because it’s maybe not necessarily indicative of their record from last year. I’ll go with the Chicago Bears. The fact that they were a three-win team last year generally means you’re headed for a lot of Sunday noon starts. But in that division now, maybe a little more wide open than in the past. They got a haul from the draft pick trade. And what do any of us know, but we keep hearing that Justin Fields looks better than ever and he was nothing if not exciting last year when we watched him.

So if somebody were going to look at this year’s schedule and be like “who would surprise us that they’re all in on?” I’m sure somebody somewhere is going to say “Wow, that seems like they sure think the Bears are going to be good.” And yeah, I kinda hope they are.

Wow! The NFL pushing some of its chips to the middle of the table and preparing to bet on the Bears isn’t what I was expecting. Especially not after a 3-win season that led them to close the year as owners of the top pick. Although, I can’t say I blame the league for doing so.

Because even in their least-competitive years, Chicago’s football team is a draw. For better or worse, there is always a storyline (oftentimes, there are a bunch of them) that will draw the attention of a national audience. Hence, we’ve been getting a steady flow of Bears games in primetime. Even the bad news Bears are have been featured aplenty in primetime. For instance, last year’s team was on Sunday Night Football (Week 2 at Green Bay), Thursday Night Football (Week 6 vs. Washington), and Monday Night Football (Week 7 at New England). All three games were competitive. Frustrating, at times, to be sure. But memorable for one reason or another.

For example, I’ll never forget that Pats win on Monday Night Football. For so many reasons, too. From it being The Justin Fields Game, to Matt Eberflus serving Bill Belichick his lunch on Monday Night Football, to the positive post-game vibes. That night had everything. Maybe there are more nights like that in our future. The NFL seems willing to gamble on the chance that the Bears will be delivering an entertaining product. And I think I’m willing to roll that dice, too.

And, c’mon … who doesn’t want more Justin Fields!?

Chicago’s QB1 was a one-man show last year. With all due respect to the other 52 players on the game-day roster, Fields was dragging that team to unexpectedly competitive games against teams they had no business being in down the stretch. The offense looked competent in its worst moments and dizzyingly fun at its best. And after an offseason of upgrades, it makes sense for the NFL to want to put more eyes on a player whose stock is on the rise. I’m here for it. So is the NFL.

For more from Schrager’s podcast, check out the link below:

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

more bears news

Heads Up! Tyrique Stevenson is Poised For a Breakout

A tip of the cap to the Chicago Bears social media team, which is doing a heckuva job keeping fans engaged in what has turned into a fun offseason. Their latest Q&A endeavor asks Bears players who they would choose...

It’s Here And It’s Perfect: EA Sports College Football 25 Trailer Released

Today EA Sports released the trailer for College Football 25 and it's absolutely perfect. The graphics look amazing, Chris Fowler sets the stage, each team shown has its own unique entrance and tradition, and in just two short months it...

Around the NFL: Get Ready for a Hefty Serving of Aaron Rodgers, How Much Will it Cost to Watch Every NFL Game in 2024? More

The NFL schedule makers felt they were entitled to a re-do when it comes to cramming Aaron Rodgers down our throats, and they took full advantage of it. Plus, how much will it cost to watch every NFL game in...

Bears Defensive Coordinator Eric Washington to Attend NFL’s Coaching Accelerator Program

Chicago Bears Defensive Coordinator Eric Washington will take part in the upcoming NFL Coach Accelerator Program that will take place at the league meetings taking place in Nashville next week. This isn't Washington's first rodeo, as the former Buffalo Bills...

HBD Coach Flus, Andy Dalton’s Side Hustle, College Football’s Big July Date, and Other Bears Bullets

It's a Friday. We finally made it. I can't believe I get to see your face. Making it to a warm-weather Friday in spring has me feeling better than I do on other days of the week. And it's got...

The Chicago Bears 2024 Schedule is HERE (Dates, Times, More)

Caleb Williams, DJ Moore, Cole Kmet, Rome Odunze, Kyler Gordon, and Teven Jenkins are among the Chicago Bears players who took starring roles in the team's 2024 schedule release video drop. Here it is in all of its glory: The...

Austin Booker is the Third Bears Draft Pick to Sign Their Rookie Deal

Another one is in the books for the Chicago Bears 2024 NFL Draft class as the team announced that Austin Booker has signed his rookie deal. This is what it looked like when Booker put pen to paper at Halas...

NFL Schedule-makers Gifted Caleb Williams and the Bears a Soft Landing

If Caleb Williams and the Chicago Bears get off to a good start this season, someone at Halas Hall should send a gift basket of Italian beef, tavern-style pizza, hot dogs, sport pepper Malört, and other Chicago delicacies to the...

My Favorite 2024 NFL Schedule Release Videos

Schedule release day in the NFL is one of my favorite non-game days of the year. NFL social media teams work hard to create entertaining videos revealing their teams' schedules for the upcoming season. Here are my favorite 2024 NFL...

Ope! The Bears Also Announced Their 2024 Preseason Schedule

ESPN's Monday Night Football team will call the first game of the Caleb Williams Era when the Chicago Bears play the Houston Texans in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. This will mark the first time the Hall of...

Latest News

Las Vegas Aces vs. Los Angeles Sparks: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

A game after putting up 30 points in an 89-80 win over the Mercury, A'ja Wilson leads the Las Vegas Aces (1-0) at home against the Los Angeles Sparks (0-1) on Saturday, May 18, 2024. The matchup begins at 3:00...

Aces vs Sparks Prediction: Picks, Live Odds & Moneyline – May 18

The Las Vegas Aces (1-0) host the Los Angeles Sparks (0-1) after A'ja Wilson racked up 30 points in the Aces' 89-80 victory over the Mercury. The matchup airs on ABC at 3:00 PM ET on Saturday, May 18, 2024.Aces...

Diamondbacks vs. Tigers: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

On Saturday, Ketel Marte and the Arizona Diamondbacks (21-23) face Riley Greene and the Detroit Tigers (21-22), with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 PM ET at Chase Field.Keep reading to find out all the details on how to watch Arizona...

Astros vs. Brewers: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

On Saturday at 7:10 PM ET, Kyle Tucker and the Houston Astros (19-25) play William Contreras and the Milwaukee Brewers (26-17) at Minute Maid Park.Keep scrolling to find out all the details on how to watch Houston square off against...

How to Watch Rangers vs. Angels: Live Stream or on TV

On Saturday, Marcus Semien and the Texas Rangers (23-22) open a series against Taylor Ward and the Los Angeles Angels (16-28) at Globe Life Field, with first pitch scheduled for 7:15 PM ET.See how to watch the Texas-Los Angeles matchup...

Red Sox vs. Cardinals: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

Kutter Crawford will take the mound for the Boston Red Sox (22-22) when they visit starting pitcher Miles Mikolas and the St. Louis Cardinals (18-25) in a series opener on Saturday, with first pitch at 7:15 PM ET.Keep reading to...

New York Liberty vs. Indiana Fever: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

Breanna Stewart leads the New York Liberty (2-0) into a matchup against the Indiana Fever (0-2) after scoring 31 points in a 102-66 win over the Fever. The matchup is on Saturday, May 18, 2024, tipping at 1:00 PM ET...

How to Watch Blue Jays vs. Rays: Live Stream or on TV

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays (19-23) host Isaac Paredes and the Tampa Bay Rays (23-22) on Saturday in a series opener, with first pitch at 3:07 PM ET.Find out how to watch the Toronto-Tampa Bay matchup below.When...

Mets vs. Marlins: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

Luis Severino takes the mound for the New York Mets (20-23) when they visit starter Braxton Garrett and the Miami Marlins (13-32) at 4:10 PM ET on Saturday.Find out how to watch the New York-Miami matchup below.When is Mets vs....

Yankees vs. White Sox: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

Luis Gil will take the ball for the New York Yankees (30-15) when they host starting pitcher Brad Keller and the Chicago White Sox (14-30) in a series opener on Saturday, with first pitch at 1:05 PM ET.The article below...

more bears news