One has to wonder if the addition of Jay Cutler less than two weeks ago altered the landscape for the Bears' 2009 schedule.
They're in demand by the networks, that much is for certain.
The Bears are scheduled for five prime-time games beginning with the opener Sept. 13 at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers, the one game we already knew about. They will host Philadelphia and Minnesota in night games at Soldier Field and play in prime time at San Francisco against Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary and at Atlanta. The game with the Vikings will be Dec. 28 in the second-to-final game of the regular season. The Bears will close the season Jan. 3 at Detroit. This is the fifth time since 1999 the regular season has spilled into January.
The schedule doesn't get easier when the Bears return home from Wisconsin. Their home schedule begins with the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers Sept. 20. The Bears are the only team in the league that will play the four teams from the conference championship games. They host the Steelers, Arizona Cardinals and Eagles and will play at Baltimore.
A look at the complete schedule:
Sept. 13 at Green Bay, 7:20 p.m., Ch. 5
Sept. 20 PITTSBURGH, 3:15 p.m., Ch. 2
Sept. 27 at Seattle, 3:05 p.m., Fox-32
Oct. 4 DETROIT, noon, Fox-32
Oct. 11 BYE
Oct. 18 at Atlanta, 7:20 p.m., Ch. 5
Oct. 25 at Cincinnati, noon, Fox-32
Nov. 1 CLEVELAND, noon, Ch. 2
Nov. 8 ARIZONA, noon, Fox-32
Nov. 12 at San Francisco, 7:20 p.m., NFL Network
Nov. 22 PHILADELPHIA, 7:20 p.m., Ch. 5
Nov. 29 at Minnesota, noon, Fox-32
Dec. 6 ST. LOUIS, noon, Fox-32
Dec. 13 GREEN BAY, noon, Fox-32
Dec. 20 at Baltimore, noon, Fox-32
Dec. 28 MINNESOTA, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Jan. 3 at Detroit, noon, Fox-32
Aug. 15 at Buffalo, 6 p.m., Fox-32
Aug. 22 NEW YORK GIANTS, 7 p.m.
Aug. 30 at Denver, 7 p.m., Ch. 5
Sept. 3 CLEVELAND, 7 p.m., Fox-32