An appetizer was served Wednesday morning via the announcement that the Bears would open the 2021 season against the Rams in Los Angeles Sept. 12 on Sunday Night Football.
The rest of the meal arrived hours later Wednesday evening when the remainder of their schedule was unveiled.
In an interesting quirk, the Bears will alternate home and road games every week throughout the season, never playing back-to-back home or road contests at any point. It's the first time that's been the case in their 102-year history.
After kicking off the season in Los Angeles, the Bears will play three straight Sunday games that begin at noon. They'll host the Cincinnati Bengals in their home opener Sept. 19, visit the Browns in Cleveland Sept. 26 and face their first NFC North opponent when they battle the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field Oct. 3.
The Bears will then play their first game in franchise history in Las Vegas against the Raiders Sunday, Oct. 10 at 3:05 p.m. before a rough two-game stretch against the teams that met in last season's NFC Championship Game. They'll host the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Oct. 17 at noon and visit the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay Sunday, Oct. 24 at 3:25 p.m.
The Bears will follow with a home game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Oct. 31 at noon before playing their first of two Monday night contests when they travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers Nov. 8 at 7:15 p.m.
After a Week 10 bye, the Bears will return to action with two games in five days, hosting the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, Nov. 21 at noon before another Thanksgiving Day matchup in Detroit versus the Lions Thursday, Nov. 25 at 11:30 a.m. It will be the third time in Matt Nagy's four seasons as coach that the Bears play Thanksgiving Day in Detroit and the fifth time in the last eight years they've played on the holiday.
The Bears will then host the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Dec. 5 at noon before playing back-to-back NFC North night games against the Packers in Green Bay Sunday, Dec. 12 at 7:20 p.m. and versus the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field Monday, Dec. 20 at 7:15 p.m.
The Bears will visit the Seahawks in Seattle Sunday, Dec. 26 at 3:05 p.m. and host the New York Giants Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, at noon before closing the season against the Vikings in Minnesota Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, at noon.
The Bears on Wednesday evening also announced their three preseason opponents. They'll host the Miami Dolphins Saturday, Aug. 14 at noon and the Buffalo Bills Saturday, Aug. 21 at noon. They will then visit the Tennessee Titans Saturday, Aug. 28 at 6:00 p.m. the third and final week of the preseason.
During the offseason, the NFL expanded the regular season schedule to 17 games and reduced the preseason to three contests.
Travel accommodations/tickets for fans
Fans looking to travel to Bears home and away games can book their experience through the following Bears Corporate Partners: Official NFL Ticket Exchange, Official VIP Fan Packages Partner Bears VIP and Official Airline Partner United Airlines. Fans can visit ChicagoBears.com/tickets for the most up-to-date game information throughout the season.
Bears 2021 Schedule (all times Central)
Saturday, Aug. 14 VS. MIAMI DOLPHINS, Noon
Saturday, Aug. 21 VS. BUFFALO BILLS, Noon
Saturday, Aug. 28 at Tennessee Titans, 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 12 at Los Angeles Rams, 7:20 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 19 VS. CINCINNATI BENGALS, Noon
Sunday, Sept. 26 at Cleveland Browns, Noon
Sunday, Oct. 3 VS. DETROIT LIONS, Noon
Sunday, Oct. 10 at Las Vegas Raiders, 3:05 p.m.*
Sunday, Oct. 17 VS. GREEN BAY PACKERS, Noon*
Sunday, Oct. 24 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3:25 p.m.*
Sunday, Oct. 31 VS. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, Noon*
Monday, Nov. 8 at Pittsburgh Steelers, 7:15 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 21 VS. BALTIMORE RAVENS, Noon*
Thursday, Nov. 25 at Detroit Lions (Thanksgiving), 11:30 a.m.
Sunday, Dec. 5 VS. ARIZONA CARDINALS, Noon*
Sunday, Dec. 12 at Green Bay Packers, 7:20 p.m.*
Monday, Dec. 20 VS. MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 7:15 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 26 at Seattle Seahawks, 3:05 p.m.*
Sunday, Jan. 2 VS. NEW YORK GIANTS, Noon*
Sunday, Jan. 9 at Minnesota Vikings, Noon*
*Subject to flexible scheduling
The Bears and the NFL have announced full details about when and where the Monsters of the Midway will take on their opponents this season.