Last Word On Pro Football is currently analyzing the schedules of all 32 NFL teams. Each game will be ranked according to difficulty, with one being the hardest game. This series will be broken up into two articles, including the most difficult (1-8) and easiest (9-16) games for each team. In this piece, the Chicago Bears most difficult games in 2017 are the focus.
Chicago Bears Most Difficult Games in 2017
1. Week 3 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
While the Chicago Bears have a decent offense, the Pittsburgh Steelers still have one of the best offenses in the league, and despite the doubts about Le’Veon Bell, the team will still be a force to be reckoned with. Despite the weakness of their pass defense last year, the Steelers drafted T.J. Watt and second-year player Bud Dupree will also likely continue to improve this season.
With the Chicago Bears weakness on defense, this will be their toughest game of the season even though they are at home.
2. Week 1 vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Bears offense is going to face a real challenge against the Atlanta Falcons defense with players like Dontari Poe, Jack Crawford, and rookie pass-rusher Takkarist McKinley. And the Atlanta offense, coming off a tough Super Bowl loss, will be coming into Game 1 with something to prove.
3. Week 6 at Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens will be another team that Chicago will have to step up on defense against. Even if Joe Flacco is injured, the team boasts an arsenal of downfield targets like Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman, and Jeremy Maclin. Ben Watson and Maxx Williams are possible breakouts at tight end, and coupled with the Ravens’ excellent offensive line this will be a tough game. Not to mention Baltimore’s defense, which is still one of the best in the league.
4. Week 4 at Green Bay Packers
Historically the Bears have struggled against the Green Bay Packers, especially at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers needs more weapons than just Martellus Bennett. The team lost a lot of talent over the off-season, and did little to fix the issues through free agency, but after drafting young players like Kevin King, Josh Jones, and Jamaal Williams, the Pack will make winning hard on the Bears, primarily because they still have one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game of football at the helm.
5. Week 17 at Minnesota Vikings
This is arguably a tougher game than the one the Bears will play against Green Bay. No one knows what the Minnesota Vikings off-season moves will translate to when the team takes the field, but the acquisition of Dalvin Cook and the strengthening of the defense will make things difficult for the porous Chicago run defense. It won’t matter whether Sam Bradford or Teddy Bridgewater is under center.
6. Week 7 vs. Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers are a big question mark this year, but they may have set themselves up for a comeback with the addition of some great veterans to their defense, including Julius Peppers, Mike Adams and former Viking Captain Munnerlyn. They also added offensive weapons to help Cam Newton, including Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel. Again, the Chicago defense will have to step up if they want to win against this unpredictable rival.
7. Week 10 vs. Green Bay Packers
By this point in the season, the Packers will have either emerged as a contender again, or we will have seen that Rodgers is not surrounded with enough help after all. Either way, the game will be a tough one even though it is at home, which does give the Bears an edge.
Rodgers will either come in confident in his team since they have done so well thus far in the season, or he will come in with something to prove.
8. Week 15 at Detroit Lions
This year, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford should have some help with the addition of Ricky Wagner and T.J. Lang to the offense. The Bears tend not to perform well at Ford Field. Combine that with the new strength for Detroit at linebacker with former Florida Gator Jarrad Davis and this will be a challenging day for the Bears.
Be sure to check out the eight easiest games on the 2017 Chicago Bears schedule.