The networks and the NFL must feel pretty good about the Bears bouncing back in 2008 as they have been given five games in prime time.
That’s the same number they had when the schedule was released last spring coming off of their appearance in Super Bowl XLI.
But it won’t be an easy start to the season as the Bears go from Indianapolis, where they will play the first regular-season game at Lucas Oil Stadium, to Carolina. The team has not started the season with two road games since 2003 when they didn’t play at Soldier Field until after two road dates and a bye to allow for the final construction of the rebuilt stadium. The home opener is Sept. 21 vs. Tampa Bay. The makeup is having three of four games in December at home, including consecutive night games vs. New Orleans on Thursday, Dec. 11 (NFL Network) and Green Bay on Monday, Dec. 22 (ESPN).
The Bears host Chicago native Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles on NBC in prime time on Sept. 28 in Week 4, and also are slated for NBC’s evening telecast on Nov. 30 at Minnesota. That last game is subject to flex scheduling, which begins in Week 11. The other four night games are locked in.
A look at the complete schedule:
Sept. 7 at Indianapolis, 7:15 p.m., Ch. 5
Sept. 14 at Carolina, noon, Fox-32
Sept. 21 TAMPA BAY, noon, Fox-32
Sept. 28 PHILADELPHIA, 7:15 p.m., Ch. 5
Oct. 5 at Detroit, noon, Fox-32
Oct. 12 at Atlanta, noon, Fox-32
Oct. 19 MINNESOTA, noon, Fox-32
Oct. 26 Bye
Nov. 2 DETROIT, noon, Fox-32
Nov. 9 TENNESSEE, noon, Ch. 2
Nov. 16 at Green Bay, noon, Fox-32
Nov. 23 at St. Louis, noon, Fox-32
Nov. 30 at Minnesota, 7:15 p.m., Ch. 5
Dec. 7 JACKSONVILLE, noon, Ch. 2
Dec. 11 NEW ORLEANS, 7:15, NFL Network
Dec. 22 GREEN BAY, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Dec. 28 at Houston, noon, Fox-32
Aug. 7 KANSAS CITY, 7 p.m.
Aug. 16 at Seattle, 8 p.m.
Aug. 21 SAN FRANCISCO, 7 p.m.
Aug. 28 at Cleveland, 6:30 p.m.