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News and notes about Bears schedule

Here are some interesting tidbits regarding the Bears' 2014 schedule:

The Bears will open at home for the fifth straight year after beginning the previous five seasons on the road. They went 2-3 in the road openers from 2005-09 and are 4-0 in the home openers, beating the Lions in 2010, Falcons in 2011, Colts in 2012 and Bengals in 2013. Since 1984, the Bears are 18-3 in season openers played at home.

Schedule Links

The Bears are opening the season against the Bills for the first time ever.

The Bears will play three straight home games (late in the season against the Cowboys, Saints and Lions) for the first time since 2008 when they went 3-0 (also in Weeks 15-17 versus the Jaguars, Saints and Packers).

The Bears will play on Thanksgiving for the first time since 2004 when they lost to the Cowboys 21-7 in Dallas. They haven't played the Lions on Thanksgiving since 1999 when they lost 21-17 in Detroit. The Bears are 16-14-2 all-time on Thanksgiving, including 8-7 versus Detroit.

The Bears are scheduled to make five prime-time appearances: two on Sunday Night Football against the 49ers and Packers; two on Monday Night Football versus the Jets and Saints; and one on Thursday Night Football against the Cowboys. The Bears were 4-1 in prime-time games last season. Their all-time record is 27-35 on Monday Night Football, 14-20 on Sunday Night Football and 5-4 on Thursday Night Football.

The Bears will face all four teams from the NFC South (Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers and Saints) and the AFC East (Bills, Dolphins, Jets and Patriots). The last time the Bears played those divisions, they went 3-1 against the NFC South in 2011 and 3-1 versus the AFC East in 2010.

The Bears will close the season versus the Vikings for the ninth time. The Bears went 3-2 in the first five games, all of which were played in Chicago in 1961, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1971. The Vikings have won two of three in Minnesota in 1988, 2005 and 2011.

The Bears will play the Packers on Sept. 28 and Nov. 9, before they play the Lions or Vikings even once. It's the earliest the Bears will be finished with Green Bay since 1997 when the second meeting between the arch rivals was on Oct. 12.

With the Vikings playing outdoors this season at the University of Minnesota, the Bears will play only two indoor games: in Atlanta Oct. 12 and Detroit Nov. 27.

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