Entering the 2023 season, the Bears have fans excited to see how they will perform. Some of that excitement comes from viewing the schedule and looking at matchups. Of particular interest are rivalry weeks, or games with other interesting storylines. This schedule is filled with great matchups, but which ones are the most important for the Bears in 2023?
Green Bay Packers, Week 1/Week 18
The oldest rivalry in the NFL, dating back to 1921, always excites fans. Even though, for the past decade, the Packers have owned the Bears with a record of 17-3. Tides may be changing in the rivalry since, for the first time in 30 years, the Packers may have the less talented quarterback.
The Packers traded Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets this offseason, leaving former first-round pick Jordan Love to start for the Packers this season. Love has only played in two NFL games and has not looked great. Compare this situation to Justin Fields’, who has already had time to develop. 2023 could be their revenge tour.
To set the tone for the future, the Bears need to sweep the Packers this season.
Kansas City Chiefs Week 3
At first glance, this game may not look interesting since many assume it will be a blowout. However, this can serve as an early season measuring stick game for the Bears. The Chiefs may be one of the best teams in the NFL again. So if the Bears keep the game competitive, it will show how they have grown since last season.
Not only would a competitive game excite Bears fans, but it could also instill confidence in the team. The more confident the team is, the better they will play the rest of the season.
For The Bears to have any chance in this game, their offense needs to be in sync to keep up with the Chiefs.
Minnesota Vikings, Week 6/Week 12
Having lost key players in the offseason, the Vikings may experience a down year after winning the division last season. This benefits the Bears, who have not beaten the Minnesota in two years.
The only proven threat on the Vikings’ offense is Justin Jefferson, who the Bears can easily zero in on now. That should make winning these games easier for the Bears.
With the Bears improved offense, they should be able to score on a weak Viking defense at will. That means the Bears should have a chance to sweep the season series this year.
Los Angeles Chargers, Week 8
Similarly to the Chiefs game, this matchup will put the Bears up against a great offense. The Chargers had the third best passing offense and the seventh best total offense last season. With little change to that offense, the Charges will be able to have similar production again this year. This means the Bears may not be able to slow them down.
Even if the Bears can slow that offense down, they still have to worry about the Chargers’ defense. A defense that has lots of playmakers on it, one of whom they traded to the Chargers in Khalil Mack. This will be Mack’s first game against the Bears since the trade. It will be interesting to see how he performs in what many people like to call a revenge game.
Carolina Panthers, Week 10
In one of the Bears’ most anticipated games of the 2023 season, they host the Panthers. Anticipation is high for this game because the Bears traded the Panthers their first round pick this past draft. With that pick, the Panthers selected quarterback Byrce Young. The trade and subsequent selection mean fans will link the teams for the next decade.
Fans will always compare Fields and Young because the Bears had the chance to draft Young and trade away Fields. However, the Bears stuck with Fields because they believe in him. If Young has a better career than Fields, fans could look back negatively on this move.
Watching these two quarterbacks in the first matchup of what will hopefully be many, may be telling.
Detroit Lions, Week 11/ Week 14
Arguably two of the Bears’ most important games of the 2023 season are against the Lions. This is because the Lions are favored to win the NFC North this season. With no significant downgrades on offense, the Lions should be able to pick up right where they left off last season. Which means these games will be battles.
After how different their two meetings were last season, the Bears need to defend that explosiveness better this season. Defending the explosiveness better will keep the games closer and hopefully tip the games in favor of the Bears.
“Follow” me on Twitter for more Bears and NFL coverage.
“From Our Haus to Yours“