The Bears will look to take the next step after winning the NFC North and returning to the NFL playoffs last season. Their schedule for 2019, though, won't make it easy.

Chicago re-emerged last season with the help of coach Matt Nagy, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and a swarming defense led by Khalil Mack. The season ended in disappointing fashion with a wild-card playoff loss to Philadelphia, but the Bears have the pieces in place to replicate that run. On the Bears' schedule for 2019 are games against teams from the AFC West and NFC East, but some breaks in their schedule make it favorable in spots. 

MORE: Who has the hardest NFL schedule in 2019?

Las Vegas oddsmakers like the Bears to win 9.5 games this season. Here is a closer look at Chicago's schedule — now a first-place schedule — for 2019.

Bears schedule 2019

Bears regular-season schedule:

    Home: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, M

    innesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, New York GiantsAway: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington RedskinsWeekDateOpponentKickoff timeTVWeek 1Sept. 5 (Thursday)vs. Packers8:20 p.m. ETNBCWeek 2Sept. 15at Broncos4:25 p.m. ETFoxWeek 3Sept. 23 (Monday)at Redskins8:15 p.m. ETESPNWeek 4Sept. 29vs. Vikings4:25 p.m. ETCBSWeek 5Oct. 6at Raiders (London)1 p.m. ETFoxWeek 6BYE---Week 7Oct. 20vs. Saints4:25 p.m. ETFoxWeek 8Oct. 27vs. Chargers1 p.m. ETFoxWeek 9Nov. 3at Eagles1 p.m. ETFoxWeek 10Nov. 10vs. Lions1 p.m. ETCBSWeek 11Nov. 17at Rams8:20 p.m. ETNBCWeek 12Nov. 24vs. Giants1 p.m. ETFoxWeek 13Nov. 28 (Thursday)at Lions12:30 p.m. ETFoxWeek 14Dec. 5 (Thursday)vs. Cowboys8:20 p.m. ETFox/NFLNWeek 15Dec. 15at Packers1 p.m. ETFoxWeek 16Dec. 22vs. Chiefs8:20 p.m. ETNBCWeek 17Dec. 29at Vikings1 p.m. ETFox

    Bears preseason schedule:

    Week 1CarolinaAug. 8-12 (TBD)Week 2at N.Y. GiantsAug. 15-19 (TBD)Week 3at IndianapolisAug. 22-25 (TBD)Week 4TennesseeAug. 29-30 (TBD)

    MORE: Full 2019 NFL preseason schedule

    Toughest tests: Chicago faces the NFC champions from the previous two seasons, both on the road, in the Rams and Eagles, teams that have combined for a 25-10 record at home. The annual trip to Lambeau Field is never easy, either, and Aaron Rodgers has a new coach in Matt LaFleur. Chicago has lost four of its last five games in Green Bay.

    Oakland and Denver are good for an upset or two at home each season, it seems. The Bears will have to side-step those potential bids.

    Biggest breaks: The Bears' first-place schedule brings the Saints to Soldier field, where the Chiefs, Chargers and Cowboys also will have to visit. Those four playoff teams combined for a 23-9 record on the road last season, but the elements always play a role in Chicago. The Bears have a loaded home schedule, one of which they can take advantage.

    Bottom line: It all starts with the opener against the Packers at Soldier Field to start the NFL’s 100th season, a marquee event in the Thursday night spotlight. The Bears can create momentum by taking down the new-look Packers and their nemesis Rodgers in that spot. Knowing the tougher schedule behind the Green Bay game, Chicago needs to have it.

    Still, the Bears are the deepest team in the NFC North, and if they go .500 or better on the road, they will be in good shape to get back to the playoffs. Record prediction: 10-6