As we progress to the start of the 2022-2023 NFL Season, we are beginning to set our expectations for each NFL team. The Chicago Bears are entering their second season with Justin Fields behind center. This Bears off-season was not like the ordinary. Multiple front office changes were made including the hire of Ryan Poles, former Kansas City Chiefs executive of player personnel, as General Manager. The Bears also found a new head coach in Matt Eberflus, former Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator, and hired new coordinators and position coaches alongside him, including former Packers quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy. Most importantly, the Bears made several roster changes this off-season. The trading of Chicago Bears Edge Rusher, Khalil Mack was most surprising to Bears fans. Other notable acquisitions and departures were: Releasing nose tackle Eddie Goldman, releasing running back Tarik Cohen, releasing linebacker Danny Trevathan, signing wide receiver Byron Pringle, and signing quarterback Trevor Siemian. Without a doubt, this new Bears team will look and play a whole lot differently. The Bears’ schedule for the upcoming season was released a while back, and we figured why not make our predictions on the Bears’ record this season as they finalize their 53-man roster. Keep in mind these are just predictions and are subject to change as the season unfolds.
Week One: San Francisco 49ers, Loss
The Bears start their regular season in Soldier hosting the San Francisco 49ers. Not much has changed for the Niners over the off-season. Adam Lynch maintained most of their priority free agents. The biggest change in San Fran is that Trey Lance was given the keys at quarterback. Justin Fields most certainly has more upside than Lance, but Lance has more weapons to work with on offense. San Francisco’s defense is no joke either, which is why I have the Niners beating the Bears in a sophomore quarterback duel. A big question surrounding this game and the 49ers’ entire season is Deebo Samuel’s playing status, which may impact the outcome.
Week Two: At Green Bay Packers, Loss
In week two, the Bears clash with the Green Bay Packers under the lights at Lambeau. Similar to the Bears, Green Bay’s roster went through a major makeover. Trading star receiver Davante Adams put the league into a frenzy. Multiple questions arose on who Aaron Rodgers would be throwing the ball to. The Packers addressed their lack of wideouts by drafting Christian Watson in the 2022 Draft. Even with Christian Watson, the Packers receiver corps is at the bottom of the league with the Bears. Some highs of the Packers’ off-season were extending break-out star cornerback Rasul Douglas and defensive lineman Preston Smith. Despite the Packers getting significantly worse, the Bears did as well, which is why I see the Packers catching a win on Primetime. This matchup is highly anticipated between the two most winning teams in NFL history.
Week Three: Houston Texans, Win
The Bears get their first win of the year against the underwhelming Houston Texans. In the past three years, the Texans have been trying to crawl out of the spot former Head Coach and General Manager Bill O’Brien put them in after trading wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans had a quiet off-season, making the most noise in the NFL draft. Houston’s biggest change this off-season was agreeing to sign former Chicago Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith. Because of the Texans mismanaged roster and new coaching, the Bears should win their first game of the year with ease.
Week Four: At New York Giants, Win
The Bears head to the big apple in week four, facing the New York Giants. Similar to the Texans, the Giants have remained in the dumps of the NFL ever since their last playoff appearance in 2016. Some new faces are appearing on the Giants roster, New York drafted defensive end, Kayvon Thibodeaux, with their fifth pick and offensive tackle Evan Neal seventh overall via the Justin Fields trade. A familiar face still on the Giants is fourth-year quarterback Daniel Jones. The Giants are looking to expand the playbook and Jones’ potential with new head coach Brian Daboll, the former Bills offensive coordinator. Daboll was in the sweepstakes for the Bears’ new head coach job before they hired Eberflus. Even with all these changes, the Bears’ defense will overwhelm Daniel Jones and company, picking up their first win on the road.
Week Five: At Minnesota Vikings, Loss
The Bears’ first matchup against the Vikings is on the Vikings’ home turf of US Bank Stadium. The Vikings have a very talented offense in wide receiver Justin Jefferson and running back Dalvin Cook. As Kirk Cousins continues to age, this is his make-or-break season. With the Vikings’ new offensive-minded head coach Kevin O’Connell and a change of scenery in the front office, Kirk Cousins has no excuses for not executing this season. The mediocre Vikings defense also slightly improved this season, signing Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith and drafting Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth. If Kevin O’Connell is the answer, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson should tear apart the Bears’ secondary, giving them their third loss.
Week Six: Washington Commanders, Win
In week six, the Bears meet the Commanders during Thursday Night Football. Over the off-season, the Commanders rebranded themselves and traded for a new quarterback in Carson Wentz after his failed stint at Indy. Besides the Wentz transaction, Washington had themselves a standard off-season. Washington drafted wide receiver Drake London and their possible future quarterback Sam Howell. The Bears may be rebuilding for the future like Washington, but Chicago’s roster has a lot more to show for itself. Justin Fields will display a breakout performance of what is to come in the future, against the Commanders’ grim defense.
Week Seven: At New England Patriots, Loss
Week seven’s edition of Monday Night Football features the Bears at Foxborough. The New England Patriots entered this off-season with a lot of money to spend hoping to beef up their roster. However, unlike the Patriots’ last free agency, barely any money was spent during this campaign. The Patriots and Bears did make a late arrangement, trading former first-round wideout N’Keal Harry in exchange for Chicago’s 2024 seventh-round pick. This is a pretty even matchup, but the Patriots have more chemistry and veteran presence. I think Belichick and Mac Jones take care of business and hand the Bears their fourth loss of the season.
Week Eight: At Dallas Cowboys, Loss
The Bears look to snag a win and hit the 500 mark against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have been in the race for the Lombardi trophy for a few years now, but always seem to come up short or even miss the playoffs. This year may be different. This Cowboys team is the most talented we’ve seen in years. Their offense is full of playmakers, and their defense is exceptional led by generational talent Micah Parsons. The one downside to Dallas is the coaching; head coach Mike McCarthy faced much criticism last season. McCarthy needs to prove this season that he deserves his spot as a head coach in the NFL. Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn staying in Dallas is huge for both sides of the football and will help McCarthy greatly. The Cowboys are looking like possible contenders this season. Their offensive line will shut down the bears, and their pass rush will engulf Fields in the trenches.
Week Nine: Miami Dolphins, Loss
The Miami Dolphins had one of the most impressive off-seasons this year. Miami maintained multiple high-value players including Cornerback Xavien Howard and Tight End Mike Gesicki. The Dolphins also splurged in free agency signing big names such as Terron Armstead and Melvin Ingram. One of the biggest moves in this season’s off-season was the Chiefs dealing star receiver Tyreek Hill to Miami. Tyreek Hill looks to be the x-factor this season with Miami. We’ll see if quarterback Tua Tagovailoa can finally prove that he’s built for this league. The Dolphins’ firing of head coach Brian Flores was very unexpected, but the hiring of 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniels is a good replacement. This game could go both ways, but the Dolphins are the better team, which is why I have them defeating the Bears, and losing back-to-back games. As the Bears reach the halfway point of the 2022-2023 NFL Season, I predict that the Bears will be at a disappointing record of 3-6. Most Bears fans aren’t expecting much from this new team, but there is plenty to be excited about as new players find themselves in the spotlight. With very talented sparks of talent in Roquan Smith, Darnell Mooney, Justin Fields, and Jaylen Johnson, Bears fans should be excited for what team is built around them. My predictions for the Bears’ second half of the season should be out before pre-season, so stay tuned.