Some predictions are already trickling in as to how the Bears’ 2008 campaign will finish. Before we get to the completely haphazard business of projecting things ourselves, we’ll review some notes about the upcoming slate of games.
*** With the preseason opening Aug. 7 against Kansas City, you can project that the club’s seventh training camp at Olivet Nazarene University will open in Bourbonnais, Ill., just prior to the weekend of July 26-27. Chances are it will be the 24th, but the team has yet to make an announcement.
*** The Bears were slated to play five prime-time games last season but had the Nov. 18 game at Seattle (originally scheduled to be on NBC) bumped in flex scheduling after their poor start. The Nov. 30 game at Minnesota is subject to flex scheduling. It’s set to be a prime-time appearance on NBC also.
*** The Bears could play six games in domes this season. They’ll have four—Atlanta, Detroit, Minnesota and St. Louis—and Indianapolis and Houston each have retractable roofs.
*** The “Monday Night Football” appearance against Green Bay on Dec. 22 will be just the second time in 12 years the Bears have hosted an “MNF” game. The last time was when they re-opened Soldier Field in 2003 against the same Packers.
*** There are two stretches in the schedule where the Bears have three consecutive home games, including the first three games in December.
*** This marks the seventh time in nine seasons the Bears will open the season on the road.
*** Only two road opponents had winning records in 2007—Indianapolis and Green Bay.
*** Coach Lovie Smith on the schedule:
“Everyone looks forward to receiving the schedule. We liked the advance notice of our season opener in Indianapolis, but now we have the rest of the blanks filled in. Every year has challenging stretches, and this season is no different. We are excited to have five prime time appearances. Most important, three of those games will be at home in front of our fans. Our national games have been on the road the past few seasons.’’
*** The bye is in Week 8, a good time for a team that stays healthy through the first half of the season. The bye last season fell in Week 9.