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11 tips for Bears Schedule Prediction Challenge

Bears quarterback Justin Fields

The Bears' schedule is expected to be released in May. They're slated to host the Lions, Packers, Vikings, Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Raiders and Cardinals; and visit the Lions, Packers, Vikings, Buccaneers, Saints, Chiefs, Chargers, Commanders and Browns.

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 11 tips to help you with your entry:

(1) The Bears have opened each of the past seven 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. 8.

(3) The Bears did not play a home Monday night game last year and have not gone two seasons without hosting a MNF contest at Soldier Field since 2006-07.

(4) Since 2013, the Bears have played eight Thursday Night Football games—six at Soldier Field and two in Green Bay. 

(5) 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.

(6) In four of the last five seasons, the Bears have played each of their three NFC North opponents once before a second meeting with any of those teams.  

(7) The Bears are slated to play a road game in Kansas City. The Chiefs share the same parking lots with the Royals, who have home weekend series scheduled for Sept. 15-17 and Sept. 29-Oct. 1. 

(8) The NFL tries to avoid having teams play three straight home games or three consecutive road games. The Bears last had three straight home contests in 2014 and three in a row on the road in 2008.

(9) The Bears have played on Thanksgiving three of the last five years, winning all three games over the Lions in Detroit in 2018, 2019 and 2021.

(10) The Bears have closed the season against the Vikings six of the last seven years, with five of those six meetings in Minnesota. 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.

(11) While last year's Oct. 9 game was an exception, the Bears usually make their annual visit to Minnesota late in the year. From 2007 through 2021, they 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.

Fans who correctly guess the opponents the Bears will face and the team's bye week for all 18 weeks of the 2023 regular season in the Schedule Prediction Challenge 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).

If no one correctly predicts the schedule, 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.

The scoring system will award 10 points for a correct division game pick (must correctly pick the week, opponent and location); seven points for a correct non-division game pick (must correctly pick the week and the opponent); five points for correctly picking the bye week; three points for a partially correct division game pick (must correctly pick the opponent and week but not the location) and one point for an incorrect game pick that is only one week away from the correct date, either one week before or one week after.

Upon entry, users will receive an email confirmation with a link that will tally their score after the schedule is officially announced by the NFL. The schedule is expected to be released in early-to-mid May.

Fans can enter the Schedule Prediction Challenge brought to you by United Airlines at or through the Chicago Bears Official App brought to you by Verizon through Friday, April 28 at 3 p.m. (CT). There is a maximum of five entries permitted per person.