The NFL has unveiled its 2022 schedule, which means we now know exactly when the Chicago Bears will face their opponents.
The Bears will open the season at home against the San Francisco 49ers and will once again close out the year against the Minnesota Vikings — this time at Soldier Field.
There are some intriguing matchups on Chicago’s slate, including three prime-time games against the Green Bay Packers (Week 2), Washington Commanders (Week 6) and New England Patriots (Week 7).
Bears’ Justin Fields will face three fellow first-round quarterbacks this season in New York’s Zach Wilson, San Francisco’s Trey Lance and New England’s Mac Jones.
Here are 17 storylines, one for each game, in the Bears’ 2022 schedule:
Bears vs. 49ers | Sept. 11 | 12:00 pm CT
The Bears will open the season at home against the 49ers in a rematch of last year’s conference contest. The only difference is that it’ll be Trey Lance likely stepping into the starting role for San Francisco, where he’ll face off against fellow 2021 first-round quarterback Justin Fields. Two of the league’s up-and-coming young quarterbacks (Lance, the third overall pick, and Fields, the 11th overall pick) make this a compelling Week 1 matchup.
Bears at Packers | Sept. 18 | 7:20 pm CT
For the 18th straight year, the Bears and Packers will square off in prime time. This also marks the 14th prime-time game that will happen in Green Bay compared to just four in Chicago. Despite these two teams being on opposite spectrums, it’s always an easy decision to have the NFL’s oldest rivalry on the prime-time stage. But it’s been pretty ugly for Chicago in prime time against Green Bay, where the Bears have been embarrassed in front of the entire football world. The good news is the Bears tend to keep things closer against the Packers at Lambeau than at Soldier Field.
Bears vs. Texans | Sept. 25 | 12:00 pm CT
While Fields will face three of the four other first-round quarterbacks from the 2021 draft class this season, he’ll also face third-rounder Davis Mills, who’s the only other quarterback from that draft class that started last season. Fields vs. Mills isn’t likely to garner the kind of notoriety that Fields vs. Lance or even Mac Jones. But it’ll be another battle of the second-year QBs that’s sure to garner its fair share of attention.
Bears at Giants | Oct. 2 | 12:00 pm CT
The Bears and Giants will play each other for the fifth straight season in Week 4. But this will mark the second time in five years that the game will be played in New York rather than Chicago. The Bears have won three straight games, including last year’s 29-3 rout, and they’ll be looking to make it four straight. Fun fact: The home team has won each matchup in the last four years. Can Chicago break the streak?
Bears at Vikings | Oct. 9 | 12:00 pm CT
Typically, the Bears close out the regular season against the Vikings in Minneapolis. But there’s some welcome change this season as Chicago will actually face the Vikings on the road in Week 5, where they’ll be looking to record an important division win.
Bears vs. Commanders | Oct. 13 | 7:15 pm CT
Chicago will play three prime-time games in 2022, and they’re all happening within the first seven weeks of the season. The Bears haven’t fared well on prime-time over the last couple of years, but the NFL recognizes the importance of showcasing one of the founding franchises of the league in prime time. When looking at Chicago’s prime-time slate, their Week 6 contest against the Commanders on Thursday Night Football is their best chance for a prime-time win in 2022. Washington is coming off a disappointing 7-10 season and has a new quarterback in Carson Wentz.
Bears at Patriots | Oct. 24 | 7:15 pm CT
When looking at potential Bears games the NFL could put on prime-time, a matchup against the Patriots was near the top of the list. This game will feature the last two quarterbacks taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft in Justin Fields and Mac Jones, where the narrative is sure to revolve around Chicago choosing Fields over Jones.
Bears at Cowboys | Oct. 30 | 12:00 pm CT
The Bears will face off against a Cowboys team coming off a playoff appearance, and it’ll be a nice barometer for where this Chicago squad is. But let’s be honest, for Bears fans, it’s all about AT&T Stadium. With the Bears considering building a new state-of-the-art stadium in Arlington Heights, this will provide the perfect opportunity to get a look at what a world-class stadium looks like and how it will ultimately benefit the franchise in the long run .
Bears vs. Dolphins | Nov. 6 | 12:00 pm CT
Chicago will welcome the Dolphins to Soldier Field in early November, which will feature a matchup between two young quarterbacks in Justin Fields and Tua Tagovailoa. While the Bears haven’t made any big moves to benefit Fields on offense, the Dolphins are the polar opposite. They’ve made some moves to benefit their roster as a whole, as well as help Tagovailoa whether it was trading for wide receiver Tyreek Hill or signing left tackle Terron Armstead in free agency. We’ll see how it ultimately benefits — or doesn’t — Tagovailoa.
Bears vs. Lions | Nov. 13 | 12:00 pm CT
One thing that could be said about former head coach Matt Nagy was his record against the Lions (7-1). While Detroit remains one of the worst teams in the league, they’ve made some sneaky moves this offseason to better their roster, including the additions of edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson and wide receiver Jameson Williams. Can the Bears make it eight wins in the last nine meetings? They’ll have a great chance to do just that at Soldier Field.
Bears at Falcons | Nov. 20 | 12:00 pm CT
On the surface, the Bears-Falcons meeting in Week 11 looks like an otherwise uninspired matchup. But there’s one storyline Bears fans should keep an eye on: Chicago’s two former general managers on Atlanta’s front office staff. Ryan Pace, who was fired in January, and Phil Emery are both in the Falcons front office, and we’ve seen Pace’s impact with the number of former Bears he’s brought to Atlanta. There’s a little something extra to play for in this game.
Bears at Jets | Nov. 27 | 12:00 pm CT
There’s an argument to be made that Justin Fields and Zach Wilson were put in the worst positions as rookies (along with Trevor Lawrence), which was reflected in their rocky rookie seasons. This offseason, the Jets have made it a point to surround Wilson with more weapons on offense, including drafting receiver Garrett Wilson and adding guard Laken Tomlinson and tight end CJ Uzomah in free agency. Meanwhile, the Bears haven’t made any splashes on offense this offseason. We’ll see whether Fields or Wilson comes out of this matchup with the last laugh.
Bears vs. Packers | Dec. 4 | 12:00 pm CT
The last time Aaron Rodgers was at Soldier Field, he reminded Bears fans that he’s made their lives absolutely miserable over the years — as if they needed a reminder. Rodgers will return to the scene of his “I still own you” crime in a Week 14 matchup. While Chicago has the benefit of this not being a national game, the Bears tend to struggle more against the Packers at Soldier Field than in Green Bay.
Bears vs. Eagles | Dec. 18 | 12:00 pm CT
During Matt Nagy’s four-year tenure as Bears head coach, Chicago never once won a game coming off the bye week. It was one of the many criticisms of Nagy, that he didn’t have his team ready, and it’s something many hope changes with Matt Eberflus in place. But the Bears will have a challenge in hosting the Eagles, who made the playoffs last season. Still, it’s not the most daunting task.
Bears vs. Bills | Dec. 24 | 12:00 pm CT
The NFL knew exactly what they were doing when they decided to schedule the Bears and Bills on Christmas Eve in Chicago. They’re hoping for a white Christmas against two teams and fanbases that know the cold well. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it’ll feature two young QBs in Fields and Josh Allen.
Bears at Lions | Jan. 1 | 12:00 pm CT
The Bears will face the Lions in their penultimate game of the 2022 season. Interesting enough, it’s the lone road contest in the last five games of Chicago’s season. While the Bears have dominated the Lions of late — going 7-1 — the games have always been closer in Detroit. We’ll see if the Bears can keep their streak going or if the Lions come up with an upset.
Bears vs. Vikings | Jan. 7/8 | TBD
…ending the season against the Vikings. The Bears will close out the 2022 regular season against the Vikings for the seventh time in the last nine seasons. But there’s a new twist in an old story: This finale will happen in Chicago rather than Minnesota. The Bears have faced the Vikings in Minneapolis six times in the last eight years. While it’ll probably still be a meaningless game — with the exception of draft order implications — at least it’s not in Minnesota again.