The NFL has flexed the kickoff time for the Patriots-Bears game at Soldier Field on Dec. 12 from 1 p.m. ET to 4:15 p.m. ET. CBS will air the game.
New England, which has a 9-2 record and is tied for first in the AFC East, faces a huge game with the Jets next Monday night before taking on the Bears. Chicago is 8-3, good enough for first in the NFC North. The Bears play the Lions in Week 13.
Interestingly, Patriots QB Tom Brady has never played a regular-season game in the Windy City. Brady is 2-0 in his career against the Bears, but the wins took place in New England (2006) and Champaign, Ill. (2002) when Soldier Field was being renovated.
The way we see it
While we won't go as far as calling this a potential Super Bowl preview, these are two of the league's top teams, both of whom have a widespread fan base. Showing this game to a national audience is a smart move for the NFL and CBS, as it should draw enormous ratings.