Ranking the Bears’ best prime-time games in 2023

The Chicago Bears have released their 2023 schedule, and we now know when they’ll be facing their opponents. Chicago will open (and close) the season against the Green Bay Packers. But all eyes are on the four prime-time games the Bears earned this season.

Prime time hasn’t been kind to the Bears over the last four years, where they’ve compiled a 4-12 record. Last season, Chicago went 1-2 on the prime-time stage with losses to the Green Bay Packers and Washington Commanders and a win over the New England Patriots.

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Despite the Bears finishing with the worst record in the NFL last season, they remain a popular choice for prime time given quarterback Justin Fields and the Chicago market. But can they turn things around with this year’s prime-time slate?

Let’s rank the Bears’ best prime-time games of 2023:

Chicago Bears vs. Carolina Panthers

Week 10 | Nov. 9 | Thursday Night Football

While it might not seem like the most enticing matchup on paper, the Bears’ Thursday night matchup against the Panthers in Week 10 is one of the most anticipated games of the season. These two teams have been intertwined since Chicago traded the No. 1 pick in the draft to Carolina. The Bears put their faith in Justin Fields while the Panthers landed their hopeful franchise quarterback in Bryce Young. Then there’s the revenge factor, as wide receiver DJ Moore (acquired in the trade of the top pick) and running back D’Onta Foreman will face off against their former team. Not to mention, there’s a lot at stake in a winnable game for the Bears — namely the position of the first-round pick from the Panthers. Now whether this game will prove to a competitive or entertaining one, that remains to be seen.


Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Chargers

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Week 8 | Oct. 29 | Sunday Night Football

This Bears-Chargers matchup has all of the makings of a great Sunday Night Football game. It’ll feature two of the league’s most exciting young quarterbacks in Justin Fields and Justin Herbert, and it should be exciting to see what these two offenses can cook up. This Week 8 game will also mark the first time Chicago will face former edge rusher Khalil Mack, who was traded to Los Angeles in 2022. While no one’s expecting the Bears to be contenders as quickly as this season, this game will provide a great measuring stick when it comes to seeing where this young team is at.


Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Week 12 | Nov. 27 | Monday Night Football

While the Bears and Vikings are no strangers to each other, there’s always something a little more special when these two teams play in prime time. Recently, Chicago has struggled to defeat Minnesota under the lights — as they’ve gone 0-2 in the last two meetings. But if the Bears are going to take the NFC North and never give it back, they’re going to have to turn things around against the Vikings. With an improved roster — and assuming Fields takes the next step — this game could be an entertaining one, as well as have implications in the race for the NFC North.


Chicago Bears at Washington Commanders

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Week 5 | Oct. 5 | Thursday Night Football

Considering how this game played out last year, no one is anticipating a rematch between the Bears and Commanders on Thursday Night Football. But for Chicago, it’s a chance to put last year’s disaster behind them. Interestingly, it was this Week 6 prime-time disaster that was the catalyst for the Bears’ offense turning things around and unlocking Justin Fields, who emerged as one of the league’s most electrifying playmakers. Instead of Darnell Mooney dropping the game-winning touchdown, perhaps this time it’ll be DJ Moore catching the game-winning score. Just, please, retire the orange helmet and jersey combo.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire