Chicago Bears 2024 schedule: Here’s who they’ll play — and our predictions for each game

The opponents have been set for months. The dates are now locked in. The Chicago Bears unveiled their 2024 schedule Wednesday, featuring three prime-time games, two Thursday games and an October trip to England.

Here’s a look at the week-by-week itinerary, along with predictions on each game from the Tribune’s Bears writers.

Week 1: Bears vs. Titans

Sunday, Sept. 8, noon, Fox-32

This is where it all begins for Caleb Williams. It feels like a friendly ease-in game for the rookie against an opponent that lost 11 games last season. Still, the Titans used the 10-meter platform to make big splashes this offseason, signing a horde of big-name free agents including Calvin Ridley, Tony Pollard, Lloyd Cushenberry and Chidobie Awuzie. They also traded for standout cornerback L’Jarius Snead and added offensive tackle JC Latham in the top 10 of the draft.

  • Brad Biggs: Bears

  • Colleen Kane: Bears

  • Dan Wiederer: Bears

Week 2: Bears at Texans

Sunday, Sept. 15, 7:20 p.m., NBC-5

C.J. Stroud reset the bar for rookie quarterbacks last season. He threw for 4,108 yards and 23 touchdowns, earned Pro Bowl honors and led a Texans franchise that went 3-13-1 the previous season to the AFC South title and a playoff win. Your move, Caleb Williams.

  • Biggs: Texans

  • Kane: Texans

  • Wiederer: Texans

Week 3: Bears at Colts

Sunday, Sept. 22, noon, CBS-2

Current events note: This will be the third consecutive game against an AFC South opponent to open the year. Ancient history note: The last time the Bears played a regular-season game at Lucas Oil Stadium in October 2016, it looked — from the hot-dog-laden press box, at least — like Brian Hoyer failed to see Alshon Jeffery open for what could have been a game-winning 28-yard touchdown pass in the final two minutes. The Bears lost 29-23.

  • Biggs: Bears

  • Kane: Bears

  • Wiederer: Bears

Week 4: Bears vs. Rams

Sunday, Sept. 29, noon, Fox-32

The rebuilding formula for Rams general manager Les Snead has involved drafting 24 players in the last 13 months. The headliner of this year’s rookie class is defensive end Jared Verse, the organization’s first first-round pick since it drafted Jared Goff at No. 1 in 2016.

  • Biggs: Rams

  • Kane: Rams

  • Wiederer: Rams

Week 5: Bears vs. Panthers

Sunday, Oct. 6, noon, Fox-32

For those keeping track, the current return for the Bears from trading the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft to Carolina is wide receiver DJ Moore, right tackle Darnell Wright, cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, quarterback Caleb Williams and punter Tory Taylor. Oh, and the Bears own the Panthers’ second-round selection next spring as icing on the cake.

  • Biggs: Bears

  • Kane: Bears

  • Wiederer: Bears

Week 6: Bears vs. Jaguars at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London

Sunday, Oct. 13, 8:30 a.m., NFL Network

In addition to a 1986 exhibition in London, the Bears have played two regular-season games across the pond, beating the Buccaneers in 2011 and falling to the Raiders in 2019. On this trip they’ll face a Trevor Lawrence-led Jaguars team playing the first of two games in England over eight days. Jacksonville enters the season 6-5 all time in London and will “host” the Patriots at Wembley Stadium in Week 7.

  • Biggs: Jaguars

  • Kane: Jaguars

  • Wiederer: Jaguars

Week 7: Bye week

The Bears had their open date in December in each of the last two seasons but will get the traditional recovery week after the return from London.

Week 8: Bears at Commanders

Sunday, Oct. 27, noon, CBS-2

The top two picks in this year’s draft square off. Some pockets of the league believe Jayden Daniels is a more complete quarterback than Caleb Williams and should have received more serious consideration by the Bears at No. 1. Daniels went No. 2 to Washington and will challenge the Bears with his football intelligence, passing production and speed.

  • Biggs: Bears

  • Kane: Bears

  • Wiederer: Bears

Week 9: Bears at Cardinals

Sunday, Nov. 3, 3:05 p.m., CBS-2

Bears GM Ryan Poles and his Cardinals counterpart, Monti Ossenfort, can have a good Sunday morning discussion about who landed the more complete rookie wide receiver in the top 10 of the draft. Then Marvin Harrison Jr. and Rome Odunze can help settle that debate inside State Farm Stadium.

  • Biggs: Bears

  • Kane: Bears

  • Wiederer: Bears

Week 10: Bears vs. Patriots

Sunday, Nov. 10, noon, Fox-32

It’s a whole new world in Foxborough, Mass., where Jerod Mayo is stepping into the head coaching role Bill Belichick held for the previous 24 seasons. Mayo and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will help oversee the development of No. 3 pick Drake Maye as the team’s quarterback of the future. The Patriots quarterback of the present, meanwhile, is Jacoby Brissett.

  • Biggs: Bears

  • Kane: Bears

  • Wiederer: Bears

Week 11: Bears vs. Packers

Sunday, Nov. 17, noon, Fox-32

The Bears have lost 10 straight to the Packers, dating to a colossal dud in the 2019 season opener. Consider this yet another chance to turn the tide. It’s also a big test during what could become a pivotal 12-day stretch for the Bears in the NFC North.

  • Biggs: Packers

  • Kane: Bears

  • Wiederer: Bears

Week 12: Bears vs. Vikings

Sunday, Nov. 24, noon, Fox-32

The Vikings selected their quarterback of the future at No. 10 last month, drafting La Grange Park native J.J. McCarthy. The question now is how quickly McCarthy will leapfrog veteran Sam Darnold as QB1.

  • Biggs: Bears

  • Kane: Bears

  • Wiederer: Vikings

Week 13: Bears at Lions

Thursday, Nov. 28, 11:30 a.m., CBS-2

Finish up your Turkey Trot and get to the couch early. It’s another Thanksgiving showdown for the Bears at Ford Field, the team’s fifth trip to Detroit for Thanksgiving in the last 11 seasons. Also of note: The Bears blew a 12-point lead in the final four minutes during a galling loss in Motown last November.

  • Biggs: Lions

  • Kane: Lions

  • Wiederer: Lions

Week 14: Bears at 49ers

Sunday, Dec. 8, 3:25 p.m., Fox-32

The Bears are working hard to open a window of sustained championship contention. The 49ers are square in the middle of theirs — though still stinging from an overtime Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs. Still, if the Bears defense needs a good measuring-stick game, a date with Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and Trent Williams fits.

  • Biggs: 49ers

  • Kane: 49ers

  • Wiederer: 49ers

Week 15: Bears at Vikings

Monday, Dec. 16, 7:15 p.m., ABC-7

The “Monday Night Football” stage awaits. And presumably the Bears will be squarely “in the hunt” for a playoff berth as the NFC North race heats up during the Christmas season. The Bears have won four of their last six at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, including a walk-off 12-10 victory on a Monday night in December last season.

  • Biggs: Bears

  • Kane: Bears

  • Wiederer: Bears

Week 16: Bears vs. Lions

Sunday, Dec. 22, noon, Fox-32

When the Lions traded Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff three years ago, many expected Goff would be a placeholder until Detroit found its quarterback of the future. This week Goff signed his third NFL contract, agreeing to a four-year, $212 million extension as the Lions vie to become an NFC powerhouse for years to come.

  • Biggs: Bears

  • Kane: Lions

  • Wiederer: Lions

Week 17: Bears vs. Seahawks

Thursday, Dec. 26, 7:15 p.m., Prime Video

A second Thursday nighter will bring another quick turnaround for the Bears. Of the eight teams that underwent head coaching changes this offseason, five are on the Bears schedule in 2024. Mike Macdonald — who replaced Pete Carroll in Seattle — will bring his team to Soldier Field the day after Christmas.

  • Biggs: Bears

  • Kane: Bears

  • Wiederer: Bears

Week 18: Bears at Packers

Saturday, Jan. 4, or Sunday, Jan. 5, TBD

If the stars align, the stakes for the season finale will be huge. Caleb Williams grew up idolizing Aaron Rodgers, who won four MVP awards, eight division titles and one Super Bowl during 15 seasons starting for the Packers. Now Williams gets his first opportunity to play at Lambeau Field.

  • Biggs: Packers

  • Kane: Packers

  • Wiederer: Packers

2024 season predictions

Brad Biggs: 10-7

If the Bears develop in the manner they believe is possible, the stretch run of the season beginning on Thanksgiving in Detroit will be a great challenge for a young roster that will have to learn how to win meaningful games. The game at Ford Field against the defending NFC North champions begins a stretch of three straight road games, and the Bears will have the Lions twice, the defending NFC champion 49ers and the Packers in the final six games. It’s the kind of stretch that can define a season in a schedule with some quirks, including three consecutive home games early — though one comes with an asterisk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London against the Jaguars.

Extra time to prepare for the Dec. 8 game at San Francisco coming out of Thanksgiving will help, and there’s a long week before playing at Minnesota on “Monday Night Football” on Dec. 16. Of course that leaves a short week to prep for the Lions at Soldier Field on Dec. 22. If the season goes the way the Bears hope — if the arrival of Caleb Williams really sparks something — maybe that Week 18 game in Green Bay would be flexed to prime time. Because how can the Bears have a remarkable season and not tussle with the Packers in prime time?

Colleen Kane: 10-7

The NFL gifted Chicago with a home opener against a beatable Titans team for Caleb Williams’ regular-season debut. And then the league gifted the national audience with a matchup of Williams against C.J. Stroud, the 2023 offensive rookie of the year, in Week 2. That game won’t be easy, but against a manageable early schedule, the Bears have a chance to get to their Week 7 bye at .500 — or maybe a little better depending on how they handle their first London trip since 2019 in Week 6. The Jaguars have more experience in international games, and that could give them a leg up.

After the bye, the trip to play the Commanders and new quarterback Jayden Daniels is fun, and the trip to play the 49ers in December is … formidable. It could be the toughest test the Bears face all season. The meat of the second half of the schedule comes with all six NFC North games after Week 10. That means the Bears will have a tough final stretch against the Lions and Packers to earn a playoff berth. But it also means Williams and the revamped Bears offense will have time to click before facing their division rivals.

The Thanksgiving meeting with the Lions should be one of the biggest of the year. And in my opinion, the Bears regular season always should end with the Packers. A January 2025 trip to Lambeau Field — where the Bears last won in 2015 — seems like the perfect place to prove this is a new Bears era.

Dan Wiederer: 9-8

The fun is back in Chicago for what sets up to be a compelling season, starting with Caleb Williams’ debut — a very winnable home game against the Titans. That should have Bears fans at full tilt right out of the gates. It also will be the first of three consecutive games against AFC South opponents to open the year, a schedule abnormality that should allow Williams and the Bears to build early momentum.

Still, for a team like the Bears, now five seasons removed from their last winning season, there isn’t the luxury yet of having a full slate of should-win opportunities. This remains an on-the-rise team that must remain ultrafocused for every step of its treacherous climb.

Ten of the Bears’ 17 games this season come against teams that finished above .500 last season, including six against opponents that won at least one playoff game. Also on the schedule: seven opposing starting quarterbacks who have received Pro Bowl recognition in their careers and three other quarterbacks who were drafted in the top 10 last month.

There’s every reason to believe the Bears can take a significant step forward this season and emerge as a legitimate playoff contender. The fate of the season, though, likely hinges on how well they navigate a closing stretch that includes all six NFC North games over the final eight weeks.