Bears schedule 2018: Chicago gets chances to establish itself as contender

The Bears’ 2018 schedule presents plenty of opportunities for Chicago to prove itself as an up-and-coming contender in the NFC. The home schedule alone features games against the Patriots and Rams, plus the usual slate of NFC North rivals.

In addition to the division games on the Bears’ 2018 schedule, fans will want to circle the date of the showdown against the 49ers as Chicago’s toughest road test. San Francisco, like Chicago, is ushering in a new era with a young quarterback and a relatively new head coach.

Bottom line: The Bears and new coach Matt Nagy have an opportunity to establish themselves as NFC contenders in 2018, and their schedule, even with a few tough games throughout, is manageable enough for them to pull it off. Second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s development will be tested by tough defenses at times, but overall, he and the offense should have opportunities to flourish. Record prediction: 9-7

Below is a breakdown of the Ravens’ schedule in 2018. Baltimore’s regular-season schedule, including dates and kickoff times, will be posted after it is made available by the NFL.

Toughest tests: The road schedule is brutal. Tennessee, Kansas City, Atlanta and Carolina all made the playoffs last year. Baltimore lost four road games last season, and that included a 44-7 loss at Jacksonville. Joe Flacco’s home-and-road splits were almost identical last season, but he will need to be better if they want to go .500 in these games.

Biggest breaks: Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Buffalo are the only teams coming to M&T Bank Stadium that had winning records last season. The game against the Bills should be interesting given last year’s AFC wild-card race. The Ravens faced three AFC North opponents in the first four weeks last year but didn’t take advantage of winning two of those three games.seahawks_120

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