Adam Schein from NFL.com has predicted that the Bears will have the worst record in the NFL in 2022. Last year, the Bears were 6-11 which beat out the Jets, Jaguars, Giants, Lions, and Panthers for the title of worst team in the NFL. His prediction means that the Bears will be worse this year than last year.
It is true that the Bears pulled the ripcord on several of their star players. Allen Robinson is gone, a top 10 receiver in any year he was healthy. Receiving passes from Mitch Trubisky in 2019 and 2020 he had 98 catches and 102 catches respectively, for 1147 and 1250 yards. With Robert Woods gone, Robinson is going to be absolutely devastating in Los Angeles this year.
Khalil Mack is gone. Akiem Hicks is gone. Danny Travathan is gone. The Bears have the fifth most available cap space in the league, but also the second most dead money – just wasted money – in the league. Khalil Mack will help the Chargers get back to the playoffs this year. Akiem Hicks is in Tampa Bay which will definitely make a Super Bowl run. Will the Bears use their cap space to do something interesting? There isn’t much star power left this year.
I get where Schein is coming from, I don’t see the Bears in the Super Bowl conversation, but I don’t see the Bears as the worst team in the NFL and here is why.
5. It isn’t that tough of a schedule.
From a strength of schedule standpoint, the Bears don’t have it that difficult. Currently, they are ranked as the 24th hardest schedule in the league. The Jets are at 17. The Texans are at 19th. The Jaguars are at 26th. The Giants are at 29th. The Commanders are 31st. The Lions are at 28th. The Falcons are 9th and the Panthers are 12th.
The Falcons and Panthers got a really tough draw, but the Bears have an easier schedule than many of the weaker teams in the league although the Jaguars, Giants, and Commanders could be sitting pretty. Odds are that the Falcons and the Panthers won’t be able to deal with the heat and do worse than the Bears.
4. One Big Upset
The Bears are famous for coming through with one big upset a year. Last year, the Bears beat the Raiders and the Bengals. Right, the Bengals that were in the Super Bowl. Ja’Marr Chase Bengals. Joe Burrow Bengals.
In 2020, the Bears beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That guy was the quarterback, and that team won the Super Bowl that year
In 2019, the Bears beat the Dak Prescott Cowboys. Every year it happens and every year Bears fans throw a party. So, if we predict wins against teams like the Giants, Commanders, Texans, Lions, Jets, and Falcons, the Bears will come up with one more win in an upset. It won’t be Green Bay and it won’t be Buffalo, but who will be embarrassed by the Bears? San Francisco? New England? Miami?
3. Cynthia says so
Cynthia Frelund is the NFL.com’s data scientist and prediction wizard. If you read her columns on best matchups and then review those predictions after the weekend, you’ll see that she is pretty good with data and the data doesn’t lie.
Frelund recently came out with her predictions for wins this year and has the Bears at 6.1 wins; let’s round that down to 6 wins. I think they will get seven, but let’s assume 6. Frelund has the Bears winning more games than the Seattle Seahawks (who are choosing to play this year without a quarterback), the Atlanta Falcons (I like Mariota, but it is a hard schedule for an undermanned team), and the Panthers. Frelund does see the Lions and Giants doing better than the Bears, so we’ll just have to see.
Suck it Schein.
2. Mooney is the real deal.
Everyone keeps mentioning that they aren’t sure if Mooney is a number 1 receiver because he hasn’t proven it yet. Typically, what happens is that someone isn’t something until they are that something and then they are somebody and there was never any doubt. Mooney will destroy this year. Fields will take less sacks, make less mistakes, and be more accurate. Mooney won’t garner the attention he deserves and will make the Pro-Bowl this year. He is just that good. See you in the endzone.
Schein mentions that the rest of the receiving core is, “akin to a witness protection program.” I think he means that they can’t be found. And that may be true, but Equanimeous St. Brown, Byron Pringle, Tajae Sharpe and the rookies they drafted are good enough to draw some attention. Add David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert into the mix and there is something that resembles an offense here. The draft produced many offensive line upgrades and the defense has some new young talent to pair with Roquan Smith.
1. Bears fans have to be right about Justin Fields
We just have to be. This really can’t be a situation where the organization made the wrong decision again, ala Jay Cutler and Mitchell Trubisky. It just can’t happen. It will be interesting to see how Trubisky does in Pittsburgh this year, if he starts, if he plays, if he plays well. If he plays well, then that will go as another Matt Nagy issue. If he doesn’t, it was a GM decision issue.
I really don’t think Bears fans could stomach a poor decision at the quarterback position again. There could be hunger strikes, mass bouts of depression, and severe substance abuse by Bears’ fans across the country if Fields is not the right guy. Fields was picked above Mac Jones (who had a decent year in New England) and the NFL scouts felt that Zach Wilson, Trevor Lawrence, and Trey Lance were all better than Fields. Did we get the fourth best quarterback in that draft? Or the fifth? Bears fans don’t think so. They think he was the best quarterback in the draft. We should know this year.