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Bears announce 2013 schedule

The Bears will kick off the Marc Trestman era with back-to-back Sunday home games, hosting the Bengals Sept. 8 and the Vikings Sept. 15 at Soldier Field, with both contests beginning at noon. Schedule Links

It's the first time the Bears will open a season with two straight home games since 1999 when they beat the Chiefs and lost to the Seahawks in Dick Jauron's first year as head coach.

After facing the Bengals and Vikings, the Bears will play the first of four prime-time games Sunday, Sept. 22 when they visit the Steelers in Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m.).

Chicago will also make one appearance on Thursday Night Football, hosting the Giants Oct. 10 (7:25 p.m.), and play twice on Monday Night Football, against the Packers in Green Bay Nov. 4 (7:40 p.m.) and versus the Cowboys Dec. 9 at Soldier Field (7:40 p.m.).

Aside from the four night games, the Bears' other 12 contests are scheduled for noon, though some later in the season could be "flexed" to later in the afternoon or at night.

The Bears schedule follows an interesting pattern, opening with two games at home followed by two on the road, two at home, two on the road, two at home and two on the road. As a result, they play four of their first six and six of their first 10 at Soldier Field.

The Bears will play a Week 4 game at Detroit Sept. 29, followed by home contests against the Saints Oct. 6 and Giants four days later. They'll then play only one game in a 24-day span, visiting the Redskins Oct. 20 followed by a bye week and their Monday night contest in Green Bay.

After home games against the Lions Nov. 10 and defending Super Bowl champion Ravens Nov. 17, the Bears will play four of their next five on the road. They'll visit St. Louis Nov. 24 and Minnesota Dec. 1, host the Cowboys Dec. 9, and play in Cleveland Dec. 15 and Philadelphia Dec. 22 before closing the season by hosting the Packers Dec. 29.

The final four games all could be played in cold weather, with two in Chicago and the others in Cleveland and Philadelphia.

Here are some more interesting tidbits regarding the 2013 schedule:
--After opening five straight seasons on the road from 2005-09, the Bears will play their first game at Soldier Field for the fourth consecutive year. That hasn't happened since 1993-96.

--The Bears have won three straight and four of their last five season openers, own a league-leading 53 opening-day victories and are 17-3 in home openers since 1984.

--The Bears will open a season against the Bengals for the second time. The first came in 1989 when Chicago defeated Cincinnati 17-10 at Soldier Field.

--The Bears are 25-35 all-time on Monday Night Football, 13-19 on Sunday Night Football and 4-4 on Thursday Night Football. They went 2-3 in prime-time games last season.

--Trestman will become the fourth straight Bears head coach to begin his career with a home game. Dave Wannstedt lost to the Giants 26-20 in 1993, Jauron beat the Chiefs 20-17 in 1999 and Lovie Smith lost to the Lions 20-16 in 2004.

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