The Bears open up the 2022 season on Sunday when they host the San Francisco 49ers at 12 PM CT at Soldier Field. With new GM Ryan Poles and new head coach Matt Eberflus, the Bears will look to go in a different direction than previous seasons.
Many predictions for this season aren’t very optimistic on the Bears. Below we see where various sports media sources have ranked the Bears, amongst all 32 NFL teams and within the NFC North.
Bears Power Ranking Positions
ESPN is the only one that doesn’t have the Bears as one of the worst three teams in the NFL and the only one that has the Bears ahead of the Lions in the NFC North. NFL.com and 247 has Chicago as the worst team in the NFL. Team Rankings has the Bears with a projected 6.1-10.9 record (30th in the NFL).
Below we see where the Bears finished last year in yards per game gained and allowed:
The defense was good, but offense was a huge problem for last year’s squad. The Bears scored 30 or more points just once last year. And that was in a 45-30 loss in a wild game at Green Bay, which included a 97-yard punt return for a TD for Chicago.
It’s hard to compare anything the Bears have done in the recent years to how this year’s group will look. With a new GM and new head coach, Bears fans will have to wait and see how this group is able to come together and implement their plan, but I wouldn’t expect some dramatic improvement from last year in year one.
Let’s take a look at the offense:
The glaring weakness most have talked about is the lack of wide receivers for Justin Fields to throw to. Darnell Mooney’s the clear #1 option and Cole Kmet may end up being the #2 target. There are a lot of unproven wideouts, but there’s a lot of speed in this group that when utilized correctly, can be a lot for opponents to scheme against. I’m excited to see the new wrinkles Matt Eberflus uses with this group.
Now for the defense:
Roquan Smith is the anchor of this defense. He’ll be joined by free agent Nicholas Morrow. Undrafted Lake Zurich product Jack Sanborn had a great preseason and made the team. He’ll back up Morrow to begin the season along with Matthew Adams and recent waiver claim Sterling Weatherford.
Eddie Jackson and rookie Jacquan Brisker slot in as the safeties. Jaylon Johnson, and Kindle Vildor will be the starting corners and rookie Kyler Gordon will likely takeover the nickelback spot.
Robert Quinn will lead the group up front. Al-Quadin Muhammad and Trevis Gipson will get plenty of time to make a name for themselves too. The defensive tackle rotation includes free agent Justin Jones (signed a 2-year $12 million contract), Angelo Blackson and Armon Watts (recently added after being cut by the Vikings).
For more on this year’s rookies, check out my 2022 Draft Recap.
With a new GM, a new head coach, a fresh start for Justin Fields and a potential new stadium on the horizon, the Chicago Bears and their fanbase have a lot to look forward to, even if the wins don’t come this season.