The Chicago Bears have a ways to go before impressing national media
Another analyst is handing out a sour early prediction for the Chicago Bears. It seems to be a trend lately, as the Bears scramble to plug their talent gap under a new regime. With a new head coach and new faces all over the roster, most Bears fans know the team has a mountain to climb to prepare for this season.
Adam Schein, an NFL.com contributing columnist, thinks the Bears won’t conquer that mountain before the end of the season. In his “Bold predictions for 2022 NFL season”, Schein foretold that the Bears would finish with the league’s worst record.
Some of you might think Atlanta’s the obvious choice. But the Falcons potentially have a stud rookie receiver in Drake London. Team him up with Kyle Pitts, and Marcus Mariota has some nice weaponry to work with, especially in the red zone. Also, Arthur Smith has a year of head-coaching experience, unlike Matt Eberflus, who faces a serious uphill battle in Chicago. It’s not his fault. Eberflus and new GM Ryan Poles inherited a Matt Nagy/Ryan Pace mess.
I feel for Justin Fields, whose rookie year was largely torpedoed by Nagy’s ineptitude. And the 23-year-old QB’s supporting cast heading into Year 2 isn’t exactly star-studded. I like Darnell Mooney as much as the next guy, but he’s far from a proven WR1. And the rest of the receiving corps is akin to a witness protection program. The O-line? Yeah, a lot to be desired there, too. And the defense is decimated, with Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks among a bunch of departures.
I get what Poles and Co. are doing here. Pace’s poor roster management induced a complete teardown. It makes sense for the long haul. But it’s going to be a long, longseason in the Windy City.
The Chicago Bears can beat the Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons receiving corps might have the edge, but the Bears will have an improved secondary this season. Marcus Mariota has been dismal since the 2016 season. It’s hard to imagine him reinventing his career with the Falcons enough to be a major factor, even with Pitts.
Schein is correct the Bears don’t have elite talent around Fields on offense. But if Fields leaps forward in his sophomore year with the Bears, the team should beat them in both the head-to-head game on Nov. 20th and the final wins column in week 18.
Bold predictions are well… bold
When reading his piece, it’s key to remember these are Schein’s “bold” predictions. Some of the other hot takes to intrigue readers include the Kansas City Cheifs being the worst team in their division was so obvious that it didn’t qualify as bold, among other facetious-seeming speculation. So take this hot air balloon ride for what you will.
This prediction shouldn’t alarm Bears fans as much as the ones from the people who crunch numbers for money in the desert do. The Bears have time to get better. Talent will change for the better and worse for most NFL teams. Injuries will also cause a lot of dominos to fall for every team’s final record.
The Bears just need to focus on improving this season and learning the new scheme. That should be the plan anyway. If they do, wins should follow.
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