By Chris Emma–
(CBS) Mark your calendars. Football is on its way.
Not too far removed from their worst season on the 16-game slate, the Bears can now look ahead to a new beginning with the 2017 NFL schedule officially released.
Week 1 brings the defending NFC champion Falcons to Soldier Field for the season opener. The Bears follow with three potentially tough games, with a trip to Tampa for a game with the Buccaneers in Week 2, a home game against the Steelers in Week 3 and a short week before a Thursday contest against the Packers at Lambeau Field in Week 4. This will mark the seventh straight year with a primetime contest in Green Bay.
The Bears will play 13 of their 16 games on Sundays. The game Week 4 contest in Green Bay marks the first primetime game, and the following matchup against Minnesota in Week 5 is on a Monday night. The Bears-Lions game in Week 15 is on a Saturday.
After the Week 4 game in Green Bay, the Bears play just three times on the road between then and Week 12, a game in Philadelphia with the Eagles. The Bears host the Browns on Christmas Eve at Soldier Field, then finish the campaign for a second straight season in Minnesota with the Vikings.
Here is the full schedule, as made official with the NFL’s release on Thursday evening.
Week 1: Sept. 10, noon CT vs. Falcons
Week 2: Sept. 17, noon CT at Buccaneers
Week 3: Sept. 24, noon CT vs. Steelers
Week 4: Sept. 28, 7:25 p.m. CT at Packers
Week 5: Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m. CT vs. Vikings
Week 6: Oct. 15, noon CT at Ravens
Week 7: Oct. 22, noon CT vs. Panthers
Week 8: Oct. 29, noon CT at Saints
Week 9: Bye
Week 10: Nov. 12, noon CT vs. Packers
Week 11: Nov. 19, noon CT vs. Lions
Week 12: Nov. 26, noon CT at Eagles
Week 13: Dec. 3, noon CT vs. 49ers
Week 14: Dec. 10, noon CT at Bengals
Week 15: Dec. 16, 3:30 p.m. CT at Lions
Week 16: Dec. 24, noon CT vs. Browns
Week 17: Dec. 31, noon CT at Vikings