Correctly projecting the Bears' opponents in all 17 of their games (plus their bye week) in the Schedule Prediction Challenge is obviously a daunting task. But here are eight tips to help you with your entry:
(1) The Bears have opened each of the past six seasons by playing one home game and one road contest the first two weeks of the year. The last time they started with back-to-back home games was in 2015 and the last time they began with consecutive road contests was in 2008.
(2) The Bears typically do not play at home on the same day as the Chicago Marathon, which is scheduled to be held Sunday, Oct. 9.
(3) All 32 NFL teams will have their bye week sometime from Weeks 5 through 13. Over the past 12 seasons from 2010 through 2021, the Bears' bye week has come during Weeks 7, 9, 8, 6, 8, 8, 9, 9, 5, 6, 11 and 10.
(4) The Bears play their NFC North rivals, the Lions, Packers and Vikings, twice every season. But they'll never face the same opponent in back-to-back weeks and rarely twice in three weeks. In fact, the only time since 2013 that they've played a division foe twice in three weeks was in 2018 when they did so against the Lions.
(5) The NFL tries to avoid having teams play three straight home games or three consecutive road games. The Bears last had three consecutive home contests in 2014 and three in a row on the road in 2008.
(6) The Bears have played on Thanksgiving three of the last four years, winning all three games over the Lions in Detroit in 2018, 2019 and 2021. This season the Bears are scheduled to play road games against both the Lions and Cowboys, the two teams that traditionally host Thanksgiving games.
(7) The Bears have closed the season against the Vikings in Minnesota five of the last six years, with 2020 being the only exception. And if the opponent isn't the Vikings, the Bears will play their season finale against either the Packers or Lions because the NFL schedules only division matchups the final week of the season.
(8) Even when they don't close the season on the road against the Vikings, the Bears usually make their annual visit to Minnesota late in the year. Over the last 15 seasons from 2007 through 2021, they've faced the Vikings in Minneapolis on Dec. 17, Nov. 30, Nov. 29, Dec. 20, Jan. 1, Dec. 9, Dec. 1, Dec. 28, Dec. 20, Jan. 1, Dec. 31, Dec. 30, Dec. 29, Dec. 20 and Jan. 9.
The Bears' annual Schedule Prediction Challenge brought to you by United Airlines runs through Friday, April 29 at 3 p.m. (CT).
Fans who correctly guess the opponents the Bears will face and the team's bye week for all 18 weeks of the 2022 regular season will have a chance to win two tickets to every Bears regular-season home and away game, two round-trip United Airlines flights and hotel accommodations to each road game, and $500 spending cash for each regular-season road game ($4,000 total).
A second-prize winner will be selected based on a scoring system. That individual will win two tickets to one Bears regular-season home game, two tickets to one Bears regular-season away game, and two round-trip United Airlines flights, hotel accommodations and $500 spending cash to the road game they attend.