The Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens will kick off the 2018 NFL season in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game at Tom Benson Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Thursday, Aug. 2.
It's a fitting match, as former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher and former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night, Aug. 4.
The Bears and Ravens met last season in Baltimore, when the Bears won 27-24 in overtime in a game that had more return touchdowns (3) than offensive scores (2). Both clubs would miss the playoffs, with the Ravens finishing 9-7 and having their wild-card hopes dashed on a fourth-and-12 touchdown from Andy Dalton to Tyler Boyd on their final defensive play of the season.
Meantime, the Bears stumbled to a 5-11 record prior to firing coach John Fox and hiring former Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy as their new head coach.
Both clubs will play five preseason games this year, and the Bears will get two extra weeks of voluntary offseason work due to changing coaching staffs this offseason.
The Bears last played in the Hall of Fame game in 2005, a 27-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins. This year marks the Ravens' first time playing in the game.
In addition to Lewis and Urlacher, the Hall will open its exclusive gates and welcome wide receivers Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, linebacker Robert Brazile and general manager Bobby Beathard.
• Arthur Arkush is the managing editor for Pro Football Weekly. For more on the NFL, visit profootballweekly.com and follow Arthur on Twitter @ arthurarkush or @PFWeekly.