The Chicago Bears have won more NFL games than any other team but still have a solitary Super Bowl to their name. That famous victory came in 1985 when they won Super Bowl XX.
Can they make it to the playoffs this season and start dreaming of another Super Bowl win?
How Did Last Season Go?
As one of the last two remaining founding members of the NFL, the Bears took part in their 102nd season in the league last year. It turned out to be another disappointment for their fans, though, as they ended with a 6-11 record. This was slightly worse than the 8-8 from the previous season, and it wasn’t enough to see them reach the playoffs.
This led to head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace being fired at the start of 2022. Some mistakes in offering contracts to the wrong players left the team with an uphill battle in the 2021 season, and they started poorly, racking up 3-6 in their first few games. This essentially put them out of the running for the playoffs long before the regular season reached the end.
They were left regretting the players they let go, and regretting the ones that they moved heaven and earth to sign on big contracts. It all added up to an unbalanced roster and a team that struggled to put together any sort of winning run. The season ended with a 17-31 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, and it was time to look ahead. Looking at the point spreads NFL odds, the Bears are outsiders on most games in the early part of the season but has anything changed?
The Changes to Their Roster
Among the first big moves the Bears made was adding Matt Eberflus as the new head coach, only the 17th in the history of the Chicago franchise. Eberflus was previously the defensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts and he’s expected to move the Bears’ defense to a 4-3 basis this season. Also recruited to the franchise, Ryan Poles moved from the Kansas City Chiefs to become the new general manager.
The 2022 draft gave the team the chance to freshen up the roster, and they made their first moves in the second round. This was where Kyler Gordon joined the Bears, as the 39th overall pick. The cornerback puts his impressive balance and jumping ability down to dancing ballet at a young age, and he joined the Bears after his college years at the University of Washington.
Next to be picked was Jaquan Brisker, who also came in the second round, this time as pick number 48. The safety played his college years at Lackawanna and Penn State. The Bears actually got this pick by trading Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers, so fans will be eager to see if Chicago’s decision-making has got better this year.
As the draft continued into the later rounds, the Bears picked up Velus Jones Jr. The wide receiver is also a return specialist and his college experience came at both USD and the Tennessee Volunteers. Also joining up at the draft were the likes of Braxton Jones, Dominique Robinson, and Zachary Thomas.
In terms of undrafted free agents, Chicago took on quite a few, such as Jon Alexander, Christian Albright, Chase Allen, and Jean Delance. Most of the contracts of this type don’t work out, but the management team will be hoping to find at least one or two good players in there to join the roster. Otherwise, there are a lot of veterans on 1 or 2-year deals, which appears to be a risky strategy but could work out well. With no real game-changers among the new faces, established players finding better form and staying clear of injury is vital.
A Look Ahead to The New Season
Bears fans will be hoping to see quarterback Justin Fields start to fulfill his potential this season too.
The 11th overall pick in the 2021 draft, Fields struggled to impress last season and suffered 36 sacks but his second year in the NFL could see him take the next steps in his career. Naturally, he needs to have more protection and a strong offensive line to help him perform well, and that’s where some of the new players need to play their part.
Bearing all of the previous points in mind, everything seems to point towards it being another difficult season for the Chicago Bears. Luke Getsy is in charge of offense for the first time and will be looking to play to Fields’ strengths.
They’re capable of doing better than last season but it looks like the rebuilding process for the Bears will be a long one, and it would be something of a surprise to see them reach the playoffs this time around.
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