The 2019 NFL season kicks off in style Thursday night with the Bears hosting the Packers at Soldier Field. It’s going to be an evening full of nods to the history of the franchise and its longest rivalry, not to mention a chance for Matt Nagy’s team to make a statement in front of a huge national audience.
Coverage of the game will begin on NBC prior to the 7:20 p.m. CT kickoff time. The network’s pregame show will include parts of Meek Mill and Meghan Trainor’s pregame concerts at Grant Park.
The 2019 NFL season kicks off this week, with a special “Thursday Night Football” game: Packers vs. Bears. A full schedule of NFL action follows, with games on Sunday, September 8, such as Rams vs. Panthers, Chiefs vs. Jaguars, Giants vs. Cowboys, and Steelers vs. Patriots.
Every week, fans may be wondering a few things: What’s the NFL game schedule this week? What channel are the NFL games on? And: How can I watch NFL games (online) for free?
The real anticipation surrounding Thursday night is all about the game. The Bears are reigning NFC North champions coming off a breakout season under Nagy. The Packers have holes throughout their roster and a new head coach in Matt LaFleur, but the presence of quarterback Aaron Rodgers looms over the proceedings. There’s rarely an easy win when Rodgers is on the other side.
Are winds of change blowing in Bears-Packers rivalry?
Bears fans haven’t seen much of their team yet this year given Nagy’s decision to rest the starters throughout the preseason. We got an impressive glimpse at rookie running back David Montgomery in the first preseason game, but it’s been apparent from players’ comments that they’re anxious to play some real football.
The Bears will be looking to show the league that they’re out for another division title – and possibly more once the playoffs begin. The road starts Thursday night in Chicago.
How to watch Bears vs. Packers, Week 1
Time: 7:20 p.m. CT
Live stream: NBC Sports Live
Figuring out the answers to these questions can sometimes be confusing. How and where you can watch NFL games can change from week to week depending on what networks and streaming services have broadcast rights. Among the spots you’ll find NFL games are old standards NBC, CBS, and Fox, as well as ESPN, NFL Network, and even Amazon Prime Video.
It’s easy to watch NFL games if you have cable or another pay TV package. But what if you’ve cut the cord or simply want to watch NFL games online — for free, ideally?
Here’s everything you need to know — and possibly, a few products and services you’ll want to buy or try out during free trials — to watch NFL games during the 2019 season.
You don’t need cable to watch Sunday afternoon NFL games featuring your local team, nor do you need cable or another pay TV subscription to watch NFL games broadcast nationally by NBC. That includes “Sunday Night Football” games like the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots on Sunday, September 8, as well as the 2019 NFL season opener: Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears on a special “Thursday Night Football” NBC broadcast on September 5. Sunday afternoon NFL games are broadcast in local markets on either CBS or Fox. If an NFL game is airing locally on CBS, Fox, or NBC, you don’t need cable to tune in. All you need in these situations to watch the NFL for free is a digital antenna (along with a TV, of course).
The league kicks off its 100th campaign on Thursday when the Green Bay Packers take on the Chicago Bears in an NFC North clash.
Aaron Rodgers will be trying to find his way in first-year Packers coach Matt LaFleur’s offense as the two navigate how much freedom the quarterback will have in the new attack.
The Bears, meanwhile, will look to affirm their place atop the NFC North after last season’s division crown. But outside linebacker Khalil Mack and the rest of the defense will be under the guidance of a new coordinator in Chuck Pagano after Vic Fangio became the head coach of the Denver Broncos. Chicago will also look to iron out its kicking issues after falling to the Philadelphia Eagles in last year’s NFC wild-card round on a deflected field goal attempt.
Here’s everything you need to know for the game:
Date: Thursday, Sept. 5
Kickoff time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Stream: NBCSports.com, NFL Game Pass (out of market)
Location: Soldier Field, Chicago
Odds: Bears -3, over/under 46.5
A digital antenna, or HDTV antenna, is the modern equivalent of an old-fashioned “rabbit ears” antenna, and it’s a must-have purchase if you’re hoping to watch NFL games on TV without cable. Connect a digital antenna to your TV and it will tune in local affiliates of free, over-the-air networks, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CW, PBS, Telemundo, and more.
Plug your address into the FCC’s website or AntennaWeb.org for an estimate of what free broadcast TV channels you’ll be able to watch with an antenna. In most of the country, you should be able to get most or all of the major broadcast networks (in hi-def), though what you can watch for free on TV also depends on the strength of your antenna and where the antenna is positioned in your home. (Because you may want to try the antenna in multiple positions to tune in the most channels, it helps to have a long coaxial cable cord.)