Primetime, Thanksgiving games reportedly on tap for Bears' 2019 schedule originally appeared on nbcsportschicago.com
While the NFL won't release its 2019 schedule for another two months, Sports Business Journal reported a few noteworthy details on Monday for Bears fans dreaming of next season.
Momentum continues to build for the Bears to open the 2019 season on Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers, a spot usually reserved for the defending Super Bowl champion. The NFL, per SBJ, wants to give the season opener to Chicago as both the Bears and the league celebrate their 100th anniversaries concurrently. If the Bears indeed get the Thursday night opener, it would be televised on NBC.
The Bears are lined up to play the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Thanksgiving for the second consecutive year, per SBJ. Prior to last year's 23-16 win over the Lions - which came on the quickest turnaround in NFL history following a Sunday Night Football game - the Bears hadn't traveled to Detroit on Thanksgiving since 2014.
The Bears, too, are likely to be in prime time plenty in 2019 as networks look to maximize on the team's resurgence, talent and personalities. In addition to the teams always targeted for prime time based on their audience - the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers - networks are showing interest in the Bears, Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams for featured or prime time slots, per SBJ. The Bears play four of those teams in 2019: The Packers, Cowboys (at home), Chiefs (at home) and Rams (in Los Angeles), as well as a home date against the Philadelphia Eagles that could interest networks.
The Bears are already locked into an October game in London against the Oakland Raiders, with WGN Radio's Adam Hoge reporting that game is likely to take place at Wembley Stadium and not Tottenham Hotspur FC's new stadium. Last season's Philadelphia Eagles-Jacksonville Jaguars game was meant to be played at Spurs' new stadium, but delays in its opening forced that game to Wembley a day before a critical Premier League match between Tottenham and Manchester City, leaving the field in horrendous condition.