The 2011 Chicago Bears schedule was released today and the Bears are going to see some of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks, as well as the sights of London, England. Aside from all our neighbors in the NFC North, Chicago will face teams from the NFC South, and Jay Cutler’s old stomping grounds, the AFC West. And of course, that includes his old team the Denver Broncos, current home of ex-Bears QB Kyle Orton.
The Bears home opponents will be (always assuming there will be a 2011 season) the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, and San Diego Chargers.
Their away schedule has them visiting the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos,and Oakland Raiders.
In addition to the Hall of Fame Game in the pre-season agaginst the St. Louis Rams, the Bears will play in the league’s other showcase game, when they meet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London’s Wembley Stadium. This will be the NFL’s fifth regular season game to be played in England, and the fact that it’s on the schedule might give fans hope that the league really does plan to have a 2011 season. That game is scheduled for Sunday, October 23, at noon CST.
The Buccaneers and QB Josh Freeman are poised to make a serious run in the tough (except for the Carolina Panthers) NFC South
Some of the more interesting match ups for the upcoming season includes Jay Cutler nemesis Phillip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers, as well as Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons, and a rematch of against the Philadelphia Eagles and Michael Vick. And this time we won’t have home-field advantage.
And speaking of rematches, aside from two dates with Aaron Rodgers and the Super Bowl Champion Packers, the Bears face off at home against the Seattle Seahawks who they defeated to go the NFC Championship game in 2010.
The entire schedule can be seen here, at chicagobears.com
They'll open in Soldier Field against the Falcons, play Christmas day with the Packers, and play twice on Monday Night Football against the Lions and Eagles.
Altogether, an exciting season awaits, if the parties can just decide how to divvy up the money. Go Bears!