The Bears opened the season with a wet win that no one believed would take place. A sloppy 19-10 victory over once Super Bowl contenders put Chicago on the map for many people who counted them out before a single regular season snap took place. The propulsion into the spotlight was short lived as they entered Lambeau Field this past Sunday and took an expected loss to the Green Bay Packers for the seventh time in a row. With the future in tow and Matt Eberflus changing the culture in the locker room, it is still difficult to believe that the Bears will be making a run anytime soon….or will they?
Victory Over the 49ers
Field conditions and weather played a large role in the style of play for both teams as monsoon like rains poured down over Soldier Field. Justin Fields, Chicago’s second year QB, completed a meager eight passes out of seventeen attempts. The young starter totaled 149 yards, with 121 of this yards coming in the air and resulting in two touchdowns. The Bears offense was primarily fueled by a broken play that forced Justin Fields to roll left and find Dante Pettis wide open down the opposing sideline for a touchdown which put the Bears within striking distance. Play was sloppy for both teams, although there were some bright spots for the Windy City natives.
The defense appeared to be playing to their fullest capacity as Roquan Smith and Dominique Robinson combined for a total of two sacks and Eddie Jackson collected his first interception of the season. While the win cemented hope in Chicago, it did not prevent nerves for the prime time matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
Perennial Loss to the Green Bay Packers
The lack of offensive weapons was substantially clear on Sunday’s loss for the Chicago Bears and their entire roster on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Fields was only successful on seven of eleven for 70 yards in the air. David Montgomery did, however, exceed the century mark for rushing yards, which indicated that he may be the lone star in Chicago currently. The Bears went up early in the game with a walk down field that resulted in a rushing touchdown by the young starting QB in Justin Fields. Unfortunately, this would be the only production that ended in a score while Green Bay would continue to separate themselves after the answering score. A questionable call late in the game that put Justin Fields in shotgun formation one yard from the goal line stymied any chances the Bears had at coming back.
With lackluster offense came undesirable outcomes on the defensive side of the ball as Green Bay put up a chunk of yards on the ground that was led by veteran Aaron Jones and supplemented by third year back AJ Dillon. Aaron Rodgers and head coach Matt LeFluer seem to be on the same page when it comes to the involvement in the run game, which relieves pressure on the 38 year old veteran Quarterback.
Expectations Going Forward
While Chicago has been placed at the bottom of the division by many sportsbooks, it seems as though a win over a talented San Francisco franchise and a devastating loss at the hands of long standing division rivals, Green Bay Packers, there may be case that the Bears may not be as helpless as previously stated. Looking ahead to the remainder of the schedule, there are a number of struggling teams that could be taken advantage of to compete for a 9-8 season.
Chicago Bears 2022 Schedule
While there may be no opportunity for a post-season run and the unlikely return of Roquan Smith to the Chicago roster leaves defensive questions, the Bears hold the highest cap space at roughly $106 million for the 2023 slate. A variety of veterans will land in free agency at the beginning of the offseason and entering next season. This includs a slew of linemen on both sides of the ball and some offensive weapons that could prove useful for Justin Fields. The amount of cap space and a young franchise Quarterback that has now built chemistry with a highly underrated Running Back could prove to be the proper concoction for a promising future.
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