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11 fun facts about Bears' 2024 schedule


The Bears' complete 2024 schedule was announced Wednesday night. Here are 11 interesting nuggets about the 17-game slate:

(1) The Bears will open their season against three straight AFC opponents (the Titans, Texans and Colts) for the first time in 25 years. The last time it happened was in Dick Jauron's first year as head coach in 1999 when the Bears beat the Chiefs before losing to the Seahawks and Raiders. Seattle was in the AFC West until moving to the NFC West in 2002 when the NFL realigned into eight four-team divisions with the addition of the expansion Texans.

(2) The Bears will play their season finale against the Packers for the second straight year. Believe it or not, it's the first time that's ever happened despite the longtime rivals having faced each other every season since 1921 (except for 1982 when their two matchups were cancelled due to a player's strike).

(3) The Bears will open the season against the Titans for the first time ever, including when the Tennessee franchise was known as the Houston Oilers. The other NFL teams the Bears have never faced in Week 1 are the Eagles, Panthers, Saints, Patriots, Jets, Raiders and Broncos. Since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970, the team the Bears have opened the season the most against is the Packers (10), followed by the Lions (8) and Falcons (4). Although the Bears face the NFC North rival Vikings twice a year, the two teams haven't played in Week 1 since 2002.

(4) The Bears won't play their first NFC North opponent until their 10th game of the season when they host the Packers Nov. 17. It's the longest in franchise history they've waited to see their first division opponent by a long stretch. The longest they've had to wait in the past was their fifth game in 1987, 1999 and 2008.

(5) With the Bears facing AFC foes (the Texans, Bills, Bengals and Chiefs) in all four of their preseason games, they will play their first seven contests (four preseason and three regular-season) against AFC opponents in 2024.

(6) After playing at least one prime-time game against the Packers for 17 straight seasons, the Bears may not face their fiercest rival at night for the second consecutive year. That could change, however, given that their Nov. 17 noon matchup in Chicago is subject to flexible scheduling and the time and date of their season finale in Green Bay will be determined following Week 17.

Go back to school to check out who and when the Bears will play this season.

(7) The Bears will face three consecutive AFC opponents for the first time during any point in a season since 2018 when they played four straight against AFC East foes in Weeks 6-9, losing to the Patriots and Dolphins before defeating the Jets and Bills.

(8) The Bears will play three games against teams that finished in the same place (fourth) in their respective divisions: the Panthers (NFC West), Commanders (NFC East) and Patriots (AFC East).

(8) Based on cumulative 2023 records, the Bears are tied for the third-easiest schedule in the NFL this year, facing opponents that compiled a .467 winning percentage (135-154) last season. The Bears will play seven games against 2023 playoff teams: two each versus the Packers and Vikings and one apiece against the Texans, Rams and 49ers.

(9) The Bears will play three straight road games (versus the Lions, 49ers and Vikings in Weeks 13-15) for the first time since 2008 when they visited the Packers, St. Louis Rams and Vikings in Weeks 11-13.

(10) The Bears will visit the Lions on Thanksgiving for the fourth time in seven seasons. The Bears have won the last three matchups in 2018, 2019 and 2021.

(11) The Bears will play three division games in a 12-day span (against the Packers, Vikings and Lions in Weeks 11-13) for the first time since 2018 when they beat Detroit Nov. 11, Minnesota Nov. 18 and the Lions again Nov. 22 on Thanksgiving. This year marks the first time the Bears will play three separatedivision opponents in a 12-day stretch since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970.