CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23: A member of the Chicago Bears field team waves a Bears flag as the before the Bears take on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Bears will open the season against the Falcons on September 11, the team who ended with the best record in the NFC in 2010, and will be in primetime four times in the 16-game schedule.
Look at the full schedule here, and read on for the top five games on the schedule:
Sept. 18 at New Orleans: Drew Brees was sacked just 25 times last season, but Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije will want to take Brees out in the second game of the season.
Oct. 10 at Detroit: Last season, the Lions showed that they were a team who had a future, and the NFL is putting faith in Detroit that the future is now, giving the divisional game a Monday Night Football slot. Ndamukong Suh will give the Bears an idea of how strong the offensive line is early in the season.
Oct. 23 vs. Tampa Bay in London: The Bears were one of the most popular teams in England, and they will get a chance to see their British fans come out in the game at Wembley Stadium. This game is important because to see how the Bears will handle travel across the Atlantic as a part of game preparation. Note that if the lockout is not settled by Aug. 1, the game will be played in Tampa.
Dec. 11 at Denver: For the first time, Jay Cutler will return to the city where he started his career and unceremoniously left town. The Broncos are in a rebuilding phase, but there will be no shortage of drama with Cutler in town.
Dec. 25 at Green Bay: Though the NFL will has 13 games on Christmas Eve, the Bears and Packers will play on Christmas night. There never has to be a reason for the Bears and Packers to be a big game, but a game that late in the season will likely (hopefully?) have playoff implications. I can't think of a better Christmas gift then a Bears win coupled with a Packers loss.