2008 Preseason Games Announced

The Chicago Bears learned earlier this week they will kick off the 2008 regular season against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football. It was annouced Thursday who their preseason opponents will be. Actual dates and times, however, are still yet to be determined.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Monsters of the Midway will open the 2008 exhibition schedule at Soldier Field against the Chiefs, who are coming off a 4-12 season in which they dropped their last nine decisions. All-Pro running back Larry Johnson averaged just 3.5 yards per carry and played in only eight games because of injury, while Brodie Croyle did very little to establish himself as the quarterback of the future in Kansas City. Defensive end Jared Allen did make his first Pro Bowl, registering 15.5 sacks.

Seattle Seahawks

Chicago will then travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks, who are coming off a 10-6 record and another division title in the NFC West. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck enjoyed a stellar season under center in 2007, although former MVP running back Shaun Alexander looks to have lost a step and may not be back with the ballclub. This team has an excess of speed on the defensive side of the ball, including three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Lofa Tatupu.

San Francisco 49ers

The Bears return to the Windy City for a preseason tilt with the 49ers, who lost eight straight in the middle of a brutal 5-11 campaign a year ago. Former No. 1-overall pick Alex Smith managed a lackluster 57.2 passer rating in just seven games, while running back Frank Gore wasn't nearly as effective in `07 as he was in his breakout year of `06. Linebacker Patrick Willis, on the other hand, was sensational as a rookie and looks like a future superstar.

Cleveland Browns

Lovie Smith and Co. will head out to Cleveland for their final warmup game against the Browns, who nearly made the playoffs with a better-than-expected 10-6 mark. Quarterback Derek Anderson came out of nowhere to make the Pro Bowl, while receiver Braylon Edwards finally started living up to expectations and became one of the better pass-catchers in the league. Joshua Cribbs is the best return specialst around not named Devin Hester, wreaking havoc off both punts and kickoffs.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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