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2016 Chicago Bears preseason schedule opens with champs

The NFL released the preseason schedule on Thursday. Dates and times haven’t been announced, but here’s a first look at the opponents for the Chicago Bears.

Week 1 (Aug. 11-15) vs. Denver Broncos

Comment: The defending Super Bowl champions return to Soldier Field for the second time since Bears coach John Fox left town after the 2014 season. It’s a game that should have special meaning for inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, who played four years in Denver before he signed with Chicago in the offseason.

Week 2 (Aug. 18-22) at New England

Comment: Foxborough has not been kind to the Bears. Chicago was massacred at New England in Marc Trestman’s final year; a game that was over in the second quarter. Even though the starters will play limited snaps, this is another quality test versus a perennial playoff team.

Week 3 (Aug. 25-28) vs. Kansas City

Comment: The Bears actually beat the Chiefs last year at Arrowhead before Kanas City went on its long winning streak. With starters expected to play into the second half, this is the best preseason test for a Bears team that many believe will improve on its 6-10 record.

Week 4 (Sept. 1-2) at Cleveland

Comment: It’s an annual rite of passage. The Bears always end the preseason against Cleveland. Although the Bears play only backups in the preseason finale, it will be fun to see who Cleveland trots out at quarterback – Robert Griffin III? Carson Wentz? Another mystery quarterback? That’s worth the price of admission right there.