The 2012 NFL schedule was released on Tuesday, and the NFL obviously loves Da Bears. Chicago plays the NFL's maximum of five prime-time games this season. In fact, the Bears play five of their first 10 games on national television.
On the surface, the Bears schedule appears to be very reasonable, considering that their opponents combined for a record of 126-130 (.492) in 2011, including just four playoff teams. However, looks can be deceiving.
The prime-time games offer a unique challenge, and the sequencing of the games may make things a bit rougher. Plus, the opposing teams' final roster construction is not complete, with some free agency and the draft still unresolved, so having a "soft" schedule can be taken with a grain of salt.
For example, the Bears play their first two games in a span of only four days!
However, if recent history is any guide, it could be a good omen that the Bears will appear on Monday Night Football three times this season. They have won seven of their last nine appearances on MNF.
But they have not been so fortunate on Sunday Night Football, where they are 1-6 in their last seven appearances. Week 10, the Bears host the Texans on SNF.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Bears will travel 14,256 air miles this season. While this is less than last year (mainly due to the London trip in 2011), it is the fifth-most for Chicago since 1998.
So, let's dive into the schedule and see what we can uncover.