The Bears will have a good look at it with a schedule that is hardly among the most difficult in the league.
The perennial contenders will look to rebound from a lackluster season in 2011 where they finished at 8-8, and just out of the postseason picture.
Another season on the outside looking in will not do for this hungry fanbase. Let's take a look at where and when you can find every Bears game this season.
Week 1 9/9: Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Week 2 9/13: Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Week 3 9/23: Chicago Bears vs. St. Louis Rams 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 4 10/1: Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Week 5 10/7: Chicago Bears @ Jacksonville Jaguars 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 6: BYE
Week 7 10/22: Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Week 8 10/28: Chicago Bears vs. Carolina Panthers 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 9 11/4: Chicago Bears @ Tennessee Titans 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 10 11/11: Chicago Bears vs. Houston Texans 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC
Week 11 11/19: Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Week 12 11/25: Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 13 12/2: Chicago Bears vs. Seattle Seahawks 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 14 12/9: Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 15 12/16: Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 16 12/23: Chicago Bears @ Arizona Cardinals 4:15 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 17 12/30: Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions 1 p.m. ET, FOX
The Chicago Bears have to contend with the stiff competition of the grueling NFC North which is never an easy task.
The Packers and Lions will come back deeper and meaner this season, making the schedule that much more daunting to start, but there is an upside.
The NFC West is here to give a boost of momentum when needed. The St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals will be improved, but an improvement on horrendous efforts may just make them mediocre.
The Bears have a lot to answer after a season that got away from them, but they certainly have a schedule that can get them to the big dance if they want to punch that ticket.
They even have a home game against the Indianapolis Colts that is just sitting there like a winning lotto ticket waiting to be cashed in.
Which game on the schedule poses the biggest challenge?
Most Pivotal Matchup:
This is going to come down to a brutal clash in the division as the Lions, Packers and Bears claw for the remaining playoff spots.
We all know every game matters in the NFL, but that is all the more true in a division that is a demanding gauntlet for all involved.
I look to Week 17, when the Bears take on the Lions in Detroit, as the most telling contest for how the division will shake out.