Chicago Bears 2021 schedule: Predicting every game, opponent win totals, record projection

The 2021 Chicago Bears are facing the same questions with different players. General manager Ryan Pace elected to sign veteran signal-caller Andy Dalton this offseason, but then also traded up to take former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. It looks like Dalton will be “QB1” to begin the season, but is that the right call, and how long will he hold that title?

The NFC North could be up for grabs! With Aaron Rodgers‘ future up in the air and the Minnesota Vikings‘ consistency questions, could the Bears turn out to be one of the biggest surprises of the 2021 NFL season? Below, we will break down every game on Chicago’s schedule for this upcoming season, and give a final record prediction. Chicago’s O/U stands at 7.5. 

(Over/Under win totals for every opponent courtesy of William Hill Sports Book)

Need a quick betting primer on your favorite NFL team for the 2021 season? Here are links to schedule breakdowns for all 32 clubs.

Week 1 at Los Angeles Rams (SNF) 

Line: Rams -7
Opponent win total: 
O/U 10.5

Matthew Stafford just can’t get away from the NFC North, can he? In his first game with his new team he will be hosting an old rival in the Bears. The Rams could be a very scary team in 2021. This defense carried Jared Goff to the divisional round of the playoffs last year, and swapping him for Stafford could make this team a legitimate Super Bowl contender. A very tough first game for Dalton. 

Prediction: Bears lose 28-17
Projected record: 0-1

Week 2 vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Opponent win total: O/U 6.5

Joe Burrow went just 2-7-1 as the starter in his rookie season, but this team should be much better in 2021 with the additions they made over the past few months. Still, how long will it take for them to get going? Dalton gets his first win as a Bear in Week 2. 

Prediction: Bears win 23-16
Projected record: 1-1

Week 3 at Cleveland Browns

Opponent win total: O/U 10

We posed the question if the Bears will be one of the surprise teams in 2021, but the Browns have more upside. Cleveland has elite offensive weapons and a revamped defense. It’s up to Baker Mayfield if this team is to be a Super Bowl contender. I’ll give the nod to Cleveland here. 

Prediction: Bears lose 27-21
Projected record: 1-2

Week 4 vs. Detroit Lions

Opponent win total: O/U 5

The Lions are going to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season. Chicago’s defense will stifle Goff and the Bears’ running backs will carry them to victory. 

Prediction: Bears win 30-13
Projected record: 2-2

Week 5 at Las Vegas Raiders

Opponent win total: O/U 7.5

The Raiders could be another team that surprises people in 2021 — at least at home. Now that fans are allowed back, Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas could be one of the best atmospheres to play in. The Bears lost to the Raiders in London back in 2019, and I say Dalton falls to Jon Gruden’s unpredictable team here. 

Prediction: Bears lose 27-24
Projected record: 2-3

Week 6 vs. Green Bay Packers

Opponent win total: N/A 

The Bears are just 1-9 against the Packers over their last 10 meetings, and while Rodgers’ future may appear to be in jeopardy, I’ll go ahead and predict he stays in Green Bay this year. If that is indeed the case, the Packers could sweep the Bears again this year.

Prediction: Bears lose 29-23
Projected record: 2-4

Week 7 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opponent win total: O/U 11.5

Remember last year when we got to make fun of Tom Brady because he forgot what down it was against the Bears and lost 20-19? Good times. Unfortunately, I bet Brady remembers that game as well, and will be out to avenge that loss with his home crowd cheering him on. I’m not betting against the reigning Super Bowl champs here. 

Prediction: Beats lose 28-17
Projected record: 2-5

Week 8 vs. San Francisco 49ers

Opponent win total: O/U 10

Here comes a major turning point in the season. The 49ers are a solid team when healthy — no matter if that’s with Jimmy Garoppolo under center or rookie Trey Lance. I’m not sure who will be starting in this game, but the 49ers have a stout defense that can disrupt teams, and here’s where Dalton begins to falter. The Bears lose in poor fashion at home, as the fans begin to chant for Fields — who will get his first official start next week. 

Prediction: Bears lose 24-6
Projected record: 2-6

Week 9 at Pittsburgh Steelers (MNF)

Opponent win total: O/U 9

There will be many legitimate questions that come with the decision to start Fields at this spot. Why not wait another week for the bye? Why in a prime-time game on the road? Well, at 2-6 the Bears need a spark, and they need it now. Fields doesn’t win his first start, but he does keep it close. There’s a new energy with this team, and it’s a positive one. 

Prediction: Bears lose 27-22
Projected record: 2-7

Week 11 vs. Baltimore Ravens

Opponent win total: O/U 11

The Bears and their fans are chomping at the bit for another win, and they create a ruckus atmosphere for Lamar Jackson and the visiting Ravens. Everyone is there to get their first look at Fields at home, and he doesn’t disappoint. Chicago pulls an upset win here, but it’s really the defense that gets the credit for shutting down Jackson and J.K. Dobbins

Prediction: Bears win 26-24
Projected record: 3-7

Week 12 at Detroit Lions (Thanksgiving)

Opponent win total: O/U 5

Fields gets another chance to flex his muscles on a prime-time stage, and he tosses three touchdowns against the lowly Lions on Turkey Day. 

Prediction: Bears win 35-14
Projected record: 4-7

Week 13 vs. Arizona Cardinals

Opponent win total: O/U 8

Back home and riding a two-game win streak, Fields and the Bears are feeling confident coming into what should be a tough matchup against Kyler Murray. Thankfully, the insertion of Fields into the starting lineup has given the defense some juice as well, and they surprise the NFL world by taking down Arizona. 

Prediction: Bears win 28-23
Projected record: 5-7

Week 14 at Green Bay Packers (SNF)

Opponent win total: N/A 

The winning streak ends here, unfortunately. Rodgers is too good at home and won’t be embarrassed by a rookie in prime time. 

Prediction: Bears lose 27-21
Projected record: 5-8

Week 15 vs. Minnesota Vikings (MNF)

Opponent win total: O/U 8.5

The Bears don’t get the Vikings into very late in the regular season, so it’s hard to predict what they will look like. Does Kirk Cousins still have the backing of the fans? Did Dalvin Cook stay healthy? In my mind, it’s possible the Bears could be trending upward while the Vikings are trending downward when they meet in Week 15. 

Prediction: Bears win 23-17
Projected record: 6-8

Week 16 at Seattle Seahawks

Opponent win total: O/U 10

This meeting could be about points, as Russell Wilson can duke it out with the best of them, but Seattle’s defense is questionable. In a potential shootout between Wilson and Fields, you gotta take Wilson. 

Prediction: Bears lose 35-28
Projected record: 6-9

Week 17 vs. New York Giants

Opponent win total: O/U 7

The Giants are a team that looks ready to compete in the NFC East, but it will be up to quarterback Daniel Jones to really embrace that franchise quarterback role. They could be a surprise team or they could disappoint. NFC East teams are kind of known to disappoint, so why not lean to the latter. 

Prediction: Bears win 24-23
Projected record: 7-9

Week 18 at Minnesota Vikings

Opponent win total: O/U 8.5

The Bears got to the playoffs last year with eight wins, but will that be good enough in 2021 with the extra game added? It could be close, but I say no. I do think Chicago gets that eighth win with Fields, though. 

Prediction: Bears win 25-17
Projected record: 8-9

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