NFL schedule release: What we already know about Chicago Bears’ schedule

Bears will host 8 regular season games at Soldier Field

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields, right, celebrates with wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. after his touchdown against the New England Patriots during the first half, Monday, Oct. 24, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass.

It’s time to start planning Sundays. And Thursdays. And Mondays.

The NFL will release its 2023 schedule Thursday night. The Chicago Bears and the rest of the league will know what their fall looks like.

Schedules for all 32 teams will be announced at 7 p.m. Thursday on the NFL Network and on social media.

Some games will be announced Wednesday and Thursday morning, including international games, the league’s first-ever Black Friday game and select games that will be announced by CBS and Fox.

Last season, 13 teams were featured in at least five prime-time games. The Bears were not among them. The Bears were featured in three prime-time games, while 13 games were played at noon on Sundays and one was played at noon on Saturday (on Christmas Eve).

Following Justin Fields’ electric performances in 2022, there may be a bigger appetite for the Bears on nationally televised games next season.

In a new wrinkle this year, not every NFL team has to play a prime-time game. Additionally, for the first time, teams could play on “Thursday Night Football” twice in one season.

The Bears already know their opponents, they just don’t know the dates and times for those games yet. The Bears will have eight home games and nine away games in 2023. Since the league expanded to a 17-game season, teams rotate between eight and nine home games each year.

In addition to facing their three NFC North foes twice next season, the Bears will play every team in the AFC West and every team in the NFC South.

Here’s what we know about the Bears’ schedule so far.

The Bears’ 2023 opponents

  • Home games: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Arizona Cardinals.
  • Away games: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Washington Commanders.

What it means

The Bears will have the 18th most difficult schedule according to opponents’ combined records in 2022. Their opponents went a combined 143-145-1 last season.

By virtue of finishing last in the NFC North last season, the Bears earned matchups against the last place team in the NFC West (the Cardinals), the last-place team in the NFC East (the Commanders) and the last-place team in the AFC North (the Browns).

Bears-Packers to start 2023?

NFL schedule leaks throughout the day have become commonplace over the years. The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman reportedly has the Packers full schedule, and it starts - and ends - with the Bears. If confirmed, the Bears would open the season with the Packers on Sept. 10 at 3:25 p.m. CT.

Do the Bears play in Germany in 2023? How about England?

No, the Bears will not play the Chiefs in Germany, nor will they play anywhere in Europe in 2023.

The NFL announced its international schedule on Wednesday morning, and it does not include the Bears. Instead, the five international games in 2023 are:

  • Week 4: Atlanta vs. Jacksonville: Oct. 1, 8:30 a.m. CT on ESPN+. At Wembley Stadium, London
  • Week 5: Jacksonville vs. Buffalo: Oct. 8, 8:30 a.m. CT on NFL Network. At Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
  • Week 6: Baltimore vs. Tennessee: Oct. 15, 8:30 a.m. CT on NFL Network. At Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
  • Week 9: Miami vs. Kansas City: Nov. 5, 8:30 a.m. CT on NFL Network. At Frankfurt Stadium, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Week 10: Indianapolis vs. New England: Nov. 12, 8:30 a.m. CT on NFL Network. At Frankfurt Stadium, Frankfurt, Germany

The Chiefs are scheduled to play in Frankfurt when the NFL returns for its second year in Germany. Since the Bears and Chiefs are scheduled to square off in 2023, there was some speculation that this matchup might happen in Germany.

NBC’s Peter King reported Monday that the Chiefs have asked the league not to move their matchup with the Bears overseas. Per King, when teams give up a home game to play internationally, they are allowed to request one home game on the schedule not be moved.

The Chiefs also host the Bills, Bengals and Eagles next season, but Kansas City apparently feels confident the NFL wouldn’t move those games overseas because doing so would require a morning kickoff time in the states for what are sure to be marquee matchups.

When do Bears single-game tickets go on sale?

Single-game tickets for Bears preseason and regular season games will go on sale at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, following the schedule release. The Bears will host two of their three preseason games in 2023.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.