Today is the eve of the 2022 NFL season and I was so excited, I decided to sit at my computer and write about football. I truly do feel like a kid on Christmas Eve right now. I mean, right now, at this very moment, we are on the verge of an entire NFL season. I don’t have the words to describe my excitement. And while the NFL season, in general, will be full of thrilling games and awesome moments, I am actually here to write about something far less thrilling and way less awesome; the 2022 Chicago Bears.
If the 2022 Chicago Bears was a movie, it would be called something like The Rebuild: Part VII. While I do love a good movie franchise, I am getting sick of watching this one. I still believe that the chances of the Chicago Bears becoming a yearly contender in the NFC is a longshot, at best, as long as the McCaskey family still owns the team. However, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, I like what the new General Manager, Ryan Poles, and new Head Coach, Matt Eberflus, are doing so far. And, no, as of right now, I don’t know how to pronounce the Head Coach’s name (is it a silent ‘S’ at the end? Is it a soft ‘U’? Only time will tell). Also, no, as of right now, I could not pick Matt Eberflus out of a lineup of 10 white guys in their 50s. Like, he could legitimately be my neighbor, and I would have no idea right now. But, even after all of that, I still like what they are doing so far.
Ryan Poles is building this team with a strong foundation. Do you know what the best thing for a rebuilding team to do is? Admit they are rebuilding. Do you know what rebuilding teams do? Accumulate as much draft capital as possible. In his first draft, Poles turned 6 picks into 11 picks. I’m not fact checking this, but I don’t think Ryan Pace made 11 picks in his entire time as Bears GM. The draft is where you can collect young, cheap talent and Poles knows it. I don’t know if any of the 11 picks this season are going to be any good, but the more picks you get, the better chance you have of hitting on picks.
Matt Eberflus is not an offensive or defensive coordinator, but a Head Coach. Matt Nagy, Marc Trestman and Lovie Smith were so obsessed with one side of the ball at all times and relied too heavily on coordinators to carry the weight on the other side of the ball. Okay, sure, Nagy and Trestman aren’t great examples because even though they were supposed to be offensive minded coaches, their schemes were bland, predictable, and worst of all, ineffective. I used the word ineffective because I am feeling generous right now. Truthfully, they were garbage. Not just regular garbage either, but garbage that is full of old diapers sitting in the sun all day garbage.
Anyone that knows me, knows that I have a tendency to be fiercely loyal to Chicago Bears quarterbacks, and boy am I ready to get hurt again. Sure, I was wrong about Rexy, Jay and Mitch, but I am ALL IN on Justin Fields. I don’t get the hate. This dude throws a great ball, is an elite running quarterback, and showed last year how tough he is. There is nothing there not to love. I am willing to stake my reputation (which is basically nothing) on the fact that Justin Fields will be an MVP candidate, pro bowl quarterback in the next 2-3 years. I also believe that he will throw for 4,000 yards in a single season, something a Bears quarterback has embarrassingly never done. Justin Fields will go down as the best quarterback in Bears history when all is said and done. I believe this, mainly because it is laughably possible. He really just needs to string together like 4 pretty good seasons and he should have it.
All in all, the Bears have o-line problems and wide receiver problems, which are not small problems. I do not think the Bears will make the playoffs in 2022, but I think they will take several steps in the right direction that set them up for future success down the line. My official prediction is that the Bears will go 8-9 in 2022. I will be placing a moderately sized wager on the Bears going over their win total of 6.5 in most books. Some might say that is wishful thinking. I don’t think so. I think this team is ready to prove to the world that they are not the 3 win team that most of the pundits believe them to be.