Two words I see a lot on Twitter when discussing the Bears’ upcoming 2022 season: be realistic. Generally, these words are directed at people who are projecting the Bears to have a winning record this year, people like Adam Rank or myself. The inference here is that expecting the Bears to win 9 or more games this year is insane and completely unrealistic.
The Bears have a new General Manager, a new Head Coach, a new coaching staff, a new defensive scheme, a new offensive scheme, and several new players. The 2022 Bears will resemble very little of the 2021 Bears on paper. Almost nothing about the team from last year is carrying over to this upcoming year, and this kind of changeover brings with it a ton of uncertainty.
The simple fact is that nobody knows how well the Bears will perform with so many changes made at every level. Nobody! All we can do is speculate on the future, which is not quite an exact science. We’re just guessing!
So predicting a 10 or 11 win season is not ‘less realistic’ than predicting a 5 or 6 win season. Both projections are rooted not in fact but in several major assumptions, assumptions that could be wildly off base by the time Week 1 rolls around.
I’m not being unrealistic when I say the Bears can (not will, but can) win 11 games this year; I’m taking an optimistic outlook on a series of unknowns. Similarly, someone else is not being realistic by saying the Bears will finish under .500; they are simply taking the opposite outlook on a series of unknowns.
I’m not trying to shame anyone for predicting another year of losing more games than we win. I’m not trying to say you have to agree with my prediction. All I’m saying is that the admonition to ‘be realistic’ could easily go right back at the less optimistic fans. It’s June, there’s a boatload of unknowns on this team that won’t be resolved until we’re taking snaps against the 49ers at Soldier Field.
Until then, we’re all just guessing. More importantly, we’re all fans of the same team. Bear Down!