Chicago Bears: Week 5 Boom Or Bust Candidates

Week 4 boom: Robert Quinn – MISS
Week 4 bust: Justin Fields – HIT

Through a quarter of the season, The Chicago Bears have been uninspiring to say the least. Despite games which have been miserable to watch, the Bears enter Week 5 with a record of 2-2. This week could be a favorable matchup for the Bears’ struggling offense against the Minnesota Vikings, but the Vikings’ offense may present the Bears’ defense their biggest challenge of the season.

Boom: Darnell Mooney
Of any player in the league, Darnell Mooney may be the most disappointing in 2022. Although mostly not responsible for his disappearance in the Bears’ offense, Mooney must find a way to get involved to allow the offense to function. Luckily for Chicago, this week is the perfect opportunity against a Vikings secondary which has been torched week after week. In the past two games, the Vikings have made quarterbacks Jared Goff and Andy Dalton look like franchise quarterbacks. This season, Minnesota has allowed nearly 70% completion to opposing passers, ranking third worst in the league, and 7.6 yards per attempt, ranking fourth worst. Although the Bears rank as the league’s most inaccurate offense, the Vikings’ “shell” defense should give Justin Fields enough open windows to target his top pass catcher. If Mooney is going to break out this season, it has to start this week in Minnesota.

Bust: Jaylon Johnson
Jaylon Johnson has quietly established himself as one of the league’s best corners, quietly because he rarely gets targeted. For the first time this season, Johnson may actually see the ball being thrown in his direction consistently. It would not be surprising for the Bears to ask Johnson to follow Justin Jefferson on Sunday, especially considering cornerbacks Kyler Gordon and Kindle Vildor have been abysmal. Following two unimpressive weeks from Jefferson, he responded last week in London, with ten receptions for 147 yards. Much of his yardage came against single coverage versus Marshon Lattimore, whose position Johnson may replicate this week. Unlike the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions who frequently double-teamed Jefferson, the Bears do not have the assets in the secondary to be able to do so. The Vikings have favorable matchups with Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn against the Bears’ struggling corners, who will require help more often than Johnson will. If forced to follow Jefferson with no help, it could be a long day for Johnson as it was for Lattimore.
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