Can the Bears make the playoffs with this schedule? 4 immediate takes on the Chicago Bears 2024 schedule

CHICAGO, Ill. - The 2024 Chicago Bears' schedule is out. It's time for predictions and road trip planning.

But, what about the schedule in its entirety? It has a favorable start with a difficult end, but a much-needed reprieve in the middle.

Here are four takes on the Bears 2024 schedule:

Caleb Williams' inaugural NFL season comes with a light start

The Bears No. 1 overall pick will play his first NFL game at Soldier Field. He'll play his first primetime game the very next week in Houston. He'll play his first NFC North game halfway through the season.

These are the first for Williams, who has a chance to engineer a successful season off the bat for the Bears.

In fact, the start of the season is rather favorable for Williams in terms of getting his feet wet.

The Bears' season opener is against a Titans team with a first-year head coach and a young offensive line. After that, the Bears will see Carolina, Indianapolis and Jacksonville – all teams that missed the playoffs last year – before the bye week.

A good start could propel the Bears into confidence the team hasn't seen in years.

The Bears bye week comes at a great time

Would it be better to have the bye week before or after the game that displaces the Bears in London with a time change, massive change in schedule and wonky game times?

Either, to be frank.

Getting the bye week after the London game means the Bears have time to combat the returning jet lag and readjust after the first stretch of the season. It's a boon for the Bears, who can check in on Caleb Williams' adjustment to the NFL seven weeks in.

The gauntlet is at the end of the year

Four of the Bears' final six games of the season are on the road.

To add more stress to that pile, six of the Bears' final eight games of the season are divisional match ups.

Also, two of the Bears' last four games are on primetime: at Minnesota on Monday Night Football and against Seattle on Thursday Night Football at home.

If the NFC North is going to be decided, it's going to be decided in that time frame. The Bears are certainly better than last year, and the Vikings regressed with the loss of Kirk Cousins. If the Bears can come out of that stretch with a winning record, which also includes a road game against the NFC favorite 49ers, you have to feel good about their playoff chances.

It's also a reminder the Bears' Week 18 game against the Packers is to be determined. Meaning, if both teams are playoff caliber, that game could be flexed into the Bears' fourth primetime game.

Can the Bears make the playoffs on this schedule? It depends on one thing

We know the Bears have a talented defense. We know they overhauled their entire offense in the span of an offseason.

But, it's still unknown if the Bears are a playoff team. What will tell us is Caleb Williams.

Williams' performances in games against Houston, San Francisco, Green Bay and Detroit should tell us if the Bears have a chance at the postseason.

Bears fans are used to the quarterback position being the biggest question mark in a season. The last time it hasn't been a massive question mark was arguably in 2019 when Mitchell Trubusky was coming off a Pro Bowl season.

This question now is how quickly can Williams settle in? If he lives up to his No. 1 overall billing, there's no reason the Bears shouldn't have immediate success. They've already constructed a defensive roster that showed improvement at the back end of 2023 and have added the necessary offensive support to win games.

I think this is a playoff team. Williams' potential can take them there.

Chicago Bears 2024 Schedule

Week 1 (Sept. 8): vs. Tennessee
Week 2 (Sept. 15): @ Houston
Week 3 (Sept. 22): @ Indianapolis
Week 4 (Sept. 29): vs. Los Angeles Rams
Week 5 (Oct. 5): vs. Carolina
Week 6 (Oct. 13): vs. Jacksonville (London)
Week 7 (Oct. 20): BYE
Week 8 (Oct. 27): @Washington
Week 9 (Nov. 3): @ Arizona
Week 10 (Nov. 10): vs. New England
Week 11 (Nov. 17): vs. Green Bay
Week 12 (Nov. 24): vs. Minnesota
Week 13 (Dec. 1): @Detroit
Week 14 (Dec. 8): @ San Francisco
Week 15 (Dec. 15): @ Minnesota
Week 16 (Dec. 22): vs. Detroit
Week 17 (Dec. 29): vs. Seattle
Week 18 (Jan. 5): @ Green Bay