Chicago Bears Predicted To Win One Game In 2022
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Chicago Bears Predicted To Win One Game In 2022

The Chicago Bears aren’t going to be a contender this year. No self-respecting fan believes that. Yet to hear so many experts predict the team will finish as maybe the worst in the NFL feels a bit over the top. They’ve already been projected to contend for the #1 overall pick in the 2023 draft by two different sources. Belief is widespread that new GM Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus are sacrificing this year to improve their long-term prospects.

The Bears already have $90+ million in salary cap space coming their way next off-season. A bad record in 2022 would also secure them a top 5 draft pick. Except that doesn’t feel like the idea. Even as the roster endures a significant turnover, Poles and Eberflus have stated the goal to win games remains unchanged. They feel this roster can surprise people. Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report wholeheartedly disagrees.

His predictions for the team are about as pessimistic as you can get.

Chicago Bears Flirt with Winless Season, Go 1-16

The Chicago Bears have all sorts of roster issues and question marks.

Foremost among them: They haven’t done enough to provide a solid supporting cast around second-year quarterback Justin Fields.

Among their notable signings at wide receiver, the Bears added Byron Pringle, David Moore and Equanimeous St. Brown. Pringle was arrested in April on charges of driving with a suspended license and reckless driving after doing doughnuts on a public road, while Moore was arrested July 4 on drug and weapon charges…

…The Bears offensive line may feature two fifth-round picks from the last two drafts in rookie Braxton Jones (left tackle) and Larry Borom (right tackle). The latter allowed five sacks and committed four penalties in 633 snaps last year, per Pro Football Focus…

…On the other side of the ball, the Bears may not have their 2021 sack leader, Robert Quinn, who skipped mandatory minicamp.

With the departure of three-time All-Pro Khalil Mack (via trade), Bilal Nichols and Akiem Hicks, the Bears would have a much weaker front seven without Quinn. Third-year edge-rusher Trevis Gipson and linebacker Roquan Smith would have a lot on their plates.”

This prediction follows the same path of logic as the others.

Poles didn’t do enough in the off-season to offset the losses of key veterans. Therefore a team that went 6-11 even with said veterans must be significantly worse than before. It conveniently ignores certain factors in favor of a narrative. Yes, the losses of Mack, Hicks, and Robinson are tough. Yet the reality is the Bears didn’t have them healthy for most of last season anyway, and the team still won six games.

That was against the second-hardest schedule in the league. Projections have the team playing a much lighter list of opponents this year. Then there is the coaching factor. Last year proved Matt Nagy and his staff were clearly in over their heads. So many problems with the 2021 Bears stemmed from bad game planning, lack of accountability, and no discipline. It shouldn’t be difficult for the new staff to be better.

Chicago Bears aren’t devoid of talent.

Their offense still has a core of solid players. David Montgomery is a top 15 running back who is good for 1,000 yards from scrimmage every year. Darnell Mooney had his first 1,000-yard season last year despite no stability at quarterback. Even Cole Kmet took a step forward with over 600 receiving yards. Defensively, Roquan Smith is an emerging star, and it feels like cornerback Jaylon Johnson isn’t far behind. They have two promising rookie defensive backs, Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker, already making plays in practice.

As for Robert Quinn, him skipping OTAs and minicamps isn’t a reason for panic. Plenty of older veterans have done so in the past. Right now, his leverage against the Bears is minimal. They have him under contract for three more years. He may wish to get traded, but it doesn’t feel like he’s willing to sacrifice millions of dollars holding out for that hope. The odds are he will be around when training camp begins.

Last but not least, there is Justin Fields.

The young quarterback didn’t have a great overall rookie year. That said, he showed significant growth over the final five games. Again, in a flawed offensive system and without adequate time to prepare in training camp. He is getting all the meaningful snaps this time around. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has vowed to mold the offense around what the quarterback does best. It stands to reason Fields will be much improved. If that happens, there is no way this team only wins one game.

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