By Tim Baffoe–
(CBS) How are you feeling today? It’s Pepto and aspirin for me and showing something narrated by John Facenda to all my high school classes, as I usually do to nurse the post-Schedulemas hangover.
Such an underrated the party, that release of the NFL schedule is. Anticipation followed by pointless speculation turns into a blurry whirlwind that leaves you waking up next to Merril Hoge with a really large literal and figurative knot in your throat.
Your gut instinct when seeing the 2016 Chicago Bears schedule is to go game by game here in April with your cognitive bias and unfinished rosters and nobody drafted yet and figure out some 11-5 conclusion like an idiot. Stop doing that.
Instead — and granted I don’t remember much from Thursday night that was marked by the release of all the NFL schedules — I found a piece of paper in my Zubaz on Friday morning that I wish to share on how the Bears can go 16-0 this year.
It’s important to know that they have the second-easiest schedule on paper in the NFL. Even more important is that the Green Bay Packers have the easiest. So if they makes the playoffs, be sure to remind any and every fan of the Pack that their favorite team didn’t earn it.
But the Shield cut the Bears a break for once, meaning an undefeated season isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility. Sure, a few things have to go their way, and good teams create their own luck, but I’ve been a Bears fan for 34 years (that’s Walter Payton’s number, by the way) and seen a lot of football.
Just hear me out before you hang up on me. Here’s how the Bears win each game in 2016.
Week 1: Sept. 11 at Texans
It’s the 15th anniversary of George Bush bringing down the Twin Towers, according to Macklemore, whom I trust as both a Seattle Seahawks fan and person who proved, twice in white rap form, that white privilege exists.
911...bush knocked down the towers
911...bush knocked down the towers— GEMINI (@macklemore) September 18, 2009
Because they’re from Texas, the Houston Texans will be uber-patriotic that day and likely not as focused on the game as they should be. If the Bears sacrifice God and country for actual religion, football, they can steal the opener on the road.
Also, casually mentioning to his teammates that new quarerback Brock Osweiler is the rich giraffe from Toys R Us can psyche the Texans out, too.
Week 2: Sept. 19 vs. Eagles
New Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson was responsible for some odd play-calling in the Kansas City Chiefs’ playoff loss to the New England Patriots. He explained a five-minute drive that began with just 6:29 left in the game while his team was down two scores thusly:
“It took us time because, No. 1, we did not want to give Tom Brady the ball back … We were down numbers. We felt like at that point (it would have been a mistake) to give the ball back to Tom Brady. We still had timeouts and time even with the onside kick to put ourselves in a position to win the football game.”
This makes no sense, and rationale like this will negate the game management issues of Bears coach John Fox. And a nation gets to continue to enjoy the Eagles slow swirl down the toilet.
Week 3: Sept. 25 at Cowboys
Jay Cutler’s injured by now, and the rookie quarterback the Bears will draft in a few weeks will be thrust in the spotlight in a primetime game. Fairy tales sometimes write themselves.
Week 4: Oct. 2 vs. Lions
If the Bears can hold Calvin Johnson to no more than two touchd- hahahahahahahaha. Oh Lions…
Week 5: Oct. 9 at Colts
Traveling to Indianapolis is practically a home game.
Week 6: Oct. 16 vs. Jaguars
Say “Bortles” out loud. Say it again. Think about how it sounds. Isn’t it weird yet irresistible? Bortles. Bortles. You can’t stop saying it, over and over.
Now tell the Jaguars to say it. Bortles. Bortles. Bortles? Bortles.
Oh, sorry, Jaguars, the Bears just scored on a trick play while you were pondering if one can truly bortle.
Week 7: Oct. 20 at Packers
The Packers proved on Thanksgiving last year that they collapse in primetime like well-done turkey.
Week 8: Oct. 31 vs. Vikings
All these primetime games for a Bears team that didn’t make the postseason last year totally tells you the league knows something about this squad.
Week 9: Bye
This is the most important week maybe, one in which you need to be sure not to defeat yourself.
Week 10: Nov. 13 at Buccaneers
The Bucs fired Lovie Smith, who took a joke and made it respectable in his second year in Tampa, including reining in a quarterback who should probably be in prison. While it’s difficult to respect an organization that thinks this way, the easy answer here is to throw at safety Chris Conte all day.
Week 11: Nov. 20 at Giants
Besides new Giants coach Ben McAdoo having clothing issues, he doesn’t seem to have the heart to tell former Giants coach Tom Coughlin that Coughlin can’t hang around the team facilities anymore because he’s not the coach anymore. What’s stopping the Bears from paying Coughlin under the table as a mole?
We are also witnessing the graceful aging of Eli’s Manningface this year with every turnover.
Week 12: Nov. 27 vs. Titans
The last time the Bears played the Titans, Cutler had a 138.1 quarterback rating en route to a 31-point victory. Now imagine what whoever is starting in his place can do against the rebuilding Titans?
Week 13: Dec. 4 vs. 49ers
Chip Kelly showed up in San Francisco and immediately did Chip Kelly things by burning a bridge with quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who’s demanding a trade. Then with the Los Angeles Rams moving up to the top draft spot, the Niners’ hopes of drafting one of the top two quarterbacks available faded. Now Kelly will mortgage everything to get a quarterback while alienating the rest of the roster before moving on to coach the Texas Longhorns. This team still smells like Jim Tomsula, including one of the equipment bags he lost a liverwurst and Vaseline sandwich in.
Week 14: Dec. 11 at Lions
Week 15: Dec. 18 vs. Packers
This game will get flexed to 3 p.m. or primetime as the 7-6 Packers take on the 13-0 Bears at Soldier Field. The Bears understand that going 2-0 against the Packers is more important than any other record or stat, including winning the Super Bowl.
Week 16: Dec. 24 vs. Washington
The pressure is now starting to kick in. Everyone’s talking about an undefeated season. Kirk Cousins is coming to steal yo girl. What do you do?
Refuse to use the team’s name anywhere in Soldier Field, a la the consideration Wembley Stadium in London where Washington will play a game this season. Besides members of British Parliament demanding the team change its racist name or send a different team to play in London in its stead, per Think Progress:
It’s also significant that Wembley Stadium, the site of the game in October, has its own anti-racism charter that bans “racial, homophobic or discriminatory abuse, chanting or harassment.
The world-famous London venue may literally not allow Washington’s team name to exist within its walls. The Chicago Park District, which owns Soldier Field, should do the similar trolling. Then Washington owner (of team footie pajamas) Dan Snyder protests and refuses to bring his team to Chicago, and the Bears win by forfeit. Damn the asterisks.
Week 17: Jan. 1 at Vikings
The Vikings have the most arrests in the NFL in the last five-plus years.
This game is the day after New Year’s Eve. Do the math.
Again, a lot has to go right, some bending of rules/paying off cops could be required, and my methodology is by no means perfect. But there’s a case to be made that if the stars align — and dare I say the wanting-of-work Mike Ditka is asked to do a bit more than just attend the post-draft party this year and continue bringing it all back to 1985 — history can be made in Chicago this season.
Come up with a more logical schedule analysis otherwise.
Tim Baffoe is a columnist for CBSChicago.com. Follow Tim on Twitter @TimBaffoe. The views expressed on this page are those of the author, not CBS Local Chicago or our affiliated television and radio stations.