Bears 2012 Schedule: What You Need to Know

The NFL on Tuesday released the Bears' 2012 schedule. As you furiously enter the schedule into your calendar and curse the cousin who put their destination wedding in the middle of football season, check out what you need to know about the Bears 2012 schedule:

-- If the Bears need to make a playoff push in December, the schedule is on their side. Though they'll have to get through the Lions and Packers, they also will have to face the Cardinals, who went 8-8 in 2011, and the NFC North cellar dwelling Vikings.

-- Chicago will face just two non-NFC North playoff teams, but those games will take place in right now. Houston will come to Soldier Field on Nov. 11 and then head to San Francisco on Nov. 19.

-- Jay Cutler will have a homecoming of sorts on Sunday, Nov. 4, as the Bears head to Nashville to face the Titans. Cutler played for Vanderbilt in college and often returns to Nashville during breaks in the Bears schedule.

-- The Bears will get a respite from the December cold in the last two games of the season. On December 23, they will travel to Arizona, and then they will play Detroit in a domed stadium on the last game of the regular season.

-- The league allows each team to have no more than five games in primetime, and Chicago is maxed out. That starts with the Thursday night game in week two against Green Bay. After that, the Bears have two Monday night games against Dallas and Detroit in October. In November, it's a Sunday night tilt against Houston, and one last Monday night game against the 49ers.

-- Chicago will start the season with three out of five games against three new coaches. The Colts, Jaguars and Rams all have new leadership in 2012.

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