At first glance, it appears the Bears’ 2012 schedule is conducive to a playoff season.
Not that you can ever tell in April how well teams will do based on their previous year’s records, but three of the Bears’ first five opponents had double-digit losses last season. The Colts (Week 1) and the Rams (Week 3) were both 2-14 last season, and both those games are at Soldier Field.
In Week 5, the Bears get the 5-11 Jaguars in Jacksonville.
So, even if they lose on the road in Green Bay in Week 2 and in Dallas in Week 4, the Bears should go into their off week with a 3-2 record, but a victory over the Cowboys and a 4-1 record at the break is do-able.
The cumulative record of their home opponents, even including the 15-1 Packers, is just 55-73, so a 7-1 record at Soldier Field seems realistic.
After the bye week, the Bears play five of their next seven games at home, and three of the home games are against sub-.500 teams, the 6-10 Panthers, the 3-13 Vikings and the 7-9 Seahawks.
The homestretch should be challenging, with three of the final four on the road, and the only home game is against the Packers. But two of the road games are against the Vikings and the 8-8 Cardinals.
From here, it looks like 10-6 and a wild-card berth in the playoffs.