So, do you put the Bears in the same class with Dallas, Indianapolis, New England, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and San Diego?
Apparently the NFL and network executives (to the extent they have say over who plays and when) do. The Bears join those seven teams as the only clubs to have five games scheduled in prime time for the regular season. Sunday night games on NBC starting in Week 11 (like the Bears Nov. 30 date at Minnesota in Week 13) are subject to be swapped out in flex scheduling.
The Bears are the only team in the group not to have a winning record in 2007. They happen to play two teams on the list—Indianapolis and Philadelphia in night games.
The Super Bowl champion New York Giants have four games set for prime time. Same goes for the defending NFC North champion Green Bay Packers.
Of the 16 teams with three or more dates in prime time, only the Bears, Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints had losing records in 2007. All three were 7-9. The Broncos and Saints appear three times each, with the Bears hosting New Orleans Dec. 11 in a Thursday game broadcast by NFL Network.
Just goes to show that the league’s second-largest television market has pull. A lot of it.
Prime time appearances by team:
Green Bay 4
N.Y. Giants 4
New Orleans 3
Tampa Bay 3
San Francisco 1
St. Louis 0
New England 5
N.Y. Jets 2
Kansas City 0
San Diego 5