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Bears’ season starts easy, but there are definitely bumps in the road

CHICAGO IL- OCTOBER 22: Charles Tillman #33 Chicago Bears reacts after Bears recovered fumble against Detroit Lions third quarter October

CHICAGO, IL- OCTOBER 22: Charles Tillman #33 of the Chicago Bears reacts after the Bears recovered a fumble against the Detroit Lions in the third quarter on October 22, 2012 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

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Updated: April 19, 2013 4:22PM



Week 1

Sept. 8 vs. Cincinnati, noon, Ch. 2: The Bears have a stiff test to kick off the new season with the playoff-worthy Bengals, led by quarterback Andy Dalton and receiver A.J. Green, coming to town.

Week 2

Sept. 15 vs. Minnesota, noon, Fox-32: Trestman and Co. have to like back-to-back home games to open their first season. It hasn’t happened since 1999. But in comes Adrian Peterson.

Week 3

Sept. 22 at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m., Ch. 5: The Steelers have undergone changes — saying goodbye to linebacker James Harrison and receiver Mike Wallace — and their defense isn’t what it was.

Week 4

Sept. 29 at Detroit, noon, Fox-32: The hated Lions, with quarterback Matthew Stafford, have plenty of weapons to test the Bears’ defense, which could be missing Brian Urlacher’s experience at this point.

Week 5

Oct. 6 vs. New Orleans, noon, Fox-32: Drew Brees and the Saints still have a high-powered attack, but their defensive changes could make them a Super Bowl contender again.

Week 6

Oct. 10 vs. New York Giants, 7:25 p.m., NFLN: Four days after Brees, the Bears get Eli Manning on a Thursday night. This looks to be toughest point in the team’s season.

Week 7

Oct. 20 at Washington, noon, Fox-32: The Bears get their first taste of Robert Griffin III. Will they know how to stop the read option by the time this game comes around?

Week 8: BYE

Week 9

Nov. 4 at Green Bay, 7:40 p.m., ESPN: It’s Monday night and the Packers. The Bears couldn’t have asked for a better game and opponent after their bye week. But the Bears have lost six in a row to Green Bay.

Week 10

Nov. 10 vs. Detroit, noon, Fox-32: Round 2 with the Lions should be a testy one, as always. It’s possible Jay Cutler secures himself a long-term deal with his play under Trestman by this point.

Week 11

Nov. 17 vs. Baltimore, noon, Ch. 2:* The Super Bowl champion Ravens have plenty of new players, but this is quarterback Joe Flacco’s team now, so watch out.

Week 12

Nov. 24 at St. Louis, noon, Fox-32:* Is this the year Sam Bradford plays like a first overall pick? He still needs some weapons to help him succeed.

Week 13

Dec. 1 at Minnesota, noon, Fox-32:* Round 2 with the Vikings could have playoff implications, as in 2012.

Week 14

Dec. 9 vs. Dallas, 7:40 p.m., ESPN: The Bears head back to prime time to face Tony Romo. The Cowboys’ collapse could be complete at this point.

Week 15

Dec. 5 at Cleveland, noon, Fox-32:* It’s on the road, but this should be a winnable game for the Bears. And it comes at a great time.

Week 16

Dec. 22 at Philadelphia, noon, Fox-32:* This game caps a tough stretch — four of five games on the road late in the ­season. The Eagles should be moving very fast under new coach Chip Kelly by this game.

Week 17

Dec. 29 vs. Green Bay, noon, Fox-32:* If the Bears’ playoff lives are on the line in the final week, there’s not a better opponent ... to ruin their dreams. Cutler has to find success against the Packers.

* Subject to flexible scheduling.



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