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Bears Schedule and the NFC North

How the Bears schedule matches up against the schedules of the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers.

While NFC North opponents of the Bears all have very similar schedules, a good case can be made that the Bears actually have the easiest schedule of the three.

Certainly, it's no worse than the second easiest.

Playing 12 noon Sunday games lends itself to stability. They do have three prime-time games but one of those is a Thursday night with Washington and it's at home, which is a big advantage for games on short work weeks.

Their tougher games against playoff teams are split between home and road -- Packers, 49ers, Eagles and Bills at home and Patriots, Cowboys and Packers on the road.

Finishing four of their last five at home and the entire month of December at home or with a bye is a huge advantage at year's end, provided they haven't been buried at the bottom of the standings by then.

Their .471 winning percentage by opponents is second easiest in the division.

Here's how the schedule stacks up against the Vikings, Lions and Packers.

Minnesota Vikings

Based on winning percentage, the Vikings actually have the most difficult schedule in the division even though they finished behind the Packers. Their opponents were at .484 last year, the 20th most difficult schedule. Green Bay's was .478.

The difference between the Vikings schedule and Bears is that they play New Orleans in London instead of Atlanta in a road game, Arizona in a home game instead of San Francisco in a home game and Indianapolis in a home game instead of Houston in a home game. Obviously the big difference there is the Bears playing Houston instead of the Colts.

In terms of schedule quirks, the Vikings do get three straight home games from Sept. 25-Oct. 9, the last game being against the Bears at Soldier Field. They have two prime-time games and three Sunday 3:25 p.m. games

There is a bit of a break in terms of the bye. The Vikings get a Week 7 bye while the Bears must wait until Week 14. But all of the teams who had Week 14 byes last year wound up getting into the playoffs.

Unlike the Bears, their games with the Cowboys and New England are at home but their Buffalo gaem is on the road and the Bears host the Bills.

Detroit Lions

Lions opponents have a .467 winning percentage, slightly easier than the Bears and easier than all but four other teams.

The difference in opponents is playing Seattle instead of San Francisco, Jacksonville instead of Houston, Carolina instead of Atlanta.

The Lions don't have the distraction of a prime-time game, the only team in the league without one of those. They also have that Thanksgiving Day advantage of playing at home on a short work week, but it's against Buffalo which definitely offsets any edge they'd possess.

While the Bears are finishing with four out of five at home, the Lions must hit the road for three out of their final four.

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Two of their toughest games are New England and Dallas but like the Bears they are playing both on the road.

So if they have a somewhat easier schedule overall than the Bears, it is extremely similar, if not the same.

Green Bay Packers

The difference from the Bears schedule is playing Tampa Bay instead of Atlanta, playing the world champion Rams instead of the 49ers and facing Tennessee instead of Houston. Those are fairly significant upgrades over the Bears' opponents.

The Packers have several logistical obstacles, including a game in London. It is against the Giants so it's not too severe. They also play five prime-time games compared to just three for the Bears.

While both teams play the Bills, the Bears do it at home and the Packers play in Buffalo. The Packers do get to play their games with New England and Dallas at home while the Bears play those teams on the road.

The Packers have a stretch of three straight home games Oct. 2-16 and finishe with three of their last four at home, in a similar season-ending home stretch to the Bears at the end.

One of those cold-weather games, on Dec. 19, is their game with the warm-weather Rams.

NFC North Schedules

PackersLionsVikingsBears

Sept. 11 at Vikings, 3:25 p.m.

Sept. 11 Eagles, noon

Sept. 11 Packers, 3:25 p.m.

Sept. 11 49ers, noon

Sept. 18 Bears, 7:20 p.m.

Sept. 18 Commanders, noon

Sept. 19 at Eagles, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 18 at Packers, 7:20 p.m.

Sept. 25 at Bucs, 3:25 p.m.

Sept. 25 at Vikings, noon

Sept. 25 Lions, noon

Sept.  25 Texans, noon

Oct. 2 at Patriots, 3:25 p.m.

Oct. 2 Seahawks, noon

Oct. 2 Saints*, 8:30 a.m.

Oct. 2 at Giants, noon

Oct. 9 Giants*, 8:30 a.m.

Oct. 9 at Patriots, noon

Oct. 9 at Commanders, noon

Oct. 9 at Vikings, noon

Oct. 16 Jets, noon

BYE

Oct. 16 at Dolphins, noon

Oct. 13 Commanders, 7:15 p.m.

Oct. 23 at Comanders, noon

Oct. 23 at Cowboys, noon

BYE

Oct. 24 at Patriots, 7:15 p.m.

Oct. 30 at Bills, 7:20 p.m.

Oct. 30 Dolphins, noon

Oct. 30 Cardinals,, noon

Oct. 30 at Cowboys, 7:15 p.m.

Nov. 6 at Lions, noon

Nov. 6 Packers, noon

Nov. 6 at Commanders, noon

Nov. 6 Dolphins, noon

Nov. 13  Cowboys, 3:25 p.m.

Nov. 13 at Bears, noon

Nov. 13 at Bills, noon

Nov. 13 Lions, noon

Nov. 17 Titans, 7:15 p.m.

Nov. 20 at Giants, noon

Nov. 20 Cowboys, 3:25 p.m.

Nov. 20 at Falcons, noon

Nov. 27 at Eagles, 7:20 p.m.

Nov. 24 Bills, 11:30 a.m.

Nov. 24 Patriots, 7:20 p.m.

Nov. 27 at Jets, noon

Dec. 4 at Bears, noon

Dec. 4 Jaguars, noon

Dec. 4 Jets, noon

Dec. 4 Packers, noon

BYE

Dec. 11 Vikings, noon

Dec. 11 at Lions, noon

BYE

Dec. 19 Rams, 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 18 at Jets, noon

Dec. 18 Colts, TBD

Dec. 18 Eagles, noon

Dec. 24 at Dolphins, noonn

Dec. 24 at Panthers, noon

Dec. 24 Giants,, noon

Dec. 24 Bills, noon

Jan. 1 Vikings, 3:25 p.m.

Jan. 1 Bears, noon

Jan. 1 at Packers, 3:25 p.m.

Jan. 1 at Lions, noon

Jan 7 or 8 Lions TBA

Jan. 7 or 8  at Packers, TBA

Jan. 8 at Bears, TBA

Jan. 8 Vikings, TBD

*London game

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