Bears open at home for first time in six years

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

The Chicago Bears drew a rare home opener and their first-ever game in Canada when the NFL announced its 2010 schedule Tuesday.

The Bears will open at home against the 2-14 Lions on Sept. 12 and play Buffalo in Toronto on Nov. 7.

“We’re excited to start at home this year,” coach Lovie Smith said in a news release. “It has been a long time since we have opened the season in front of our fans. Our national games will provide a lot of excitement given our opponents. And our game in Toronto will allow us to play in front of a Canadian fan base that loves football.”

This will be the first time in six years and only the third time in the past 11 that the Bears have opened the season at home.

Five of Chicago’s eight home games will be against playoff teams: The Packers, Vikings, Patriots, Jets and Eagles.

Other highlights include Monday night games at home against the Packers on Sept. 27 and Dec. 20 at Minnesota, a Sunday night game Oct. 3 against the Giants and a Thursday night game Nov. 18 at Miami on the NFL Network. The Bears were 1-4 in night games last year.

The Bears play a total of eight games against 2009 playoff teams. Their opponents had a 129-127 record (.504 percentage) last year.

The Packers break in the Donovan McNabb-less Eagles with a 3:15 p.m. national game at Philadelphia in their opener. Besides playing the Bears on Monday night and in their Jan. 2 season finale, the Packers other marquee games are Sunday night contests Oct. 24 against Minnesota, Nov. 7 vs. Dallas and Dec. 19 at New England.

Dallas and Minnesota are Green Bay’s only home games vs. 2009 playoff teams.

— Matt Trowbridge, Rockford Register Star