The Chicago Bears’ 2022 schedule has made its rounds on social media. Now that we know who the Bears will play each week (times to be determined), we can start digging into how each quarter of the season looks.
Former Bears coach Lovie Smith preached the philosophy of breaking down an NFL season into quarters. If you have a winning record in each bundle of four games (under the old 16-game schedule), you’ll end the year in the mix for the playoffs.
It’s a sound approach to take, especially in May. We still don’t know what the final Bears’ roster will look like on opening day, nor do we know how their opponents’ rosters will shake out. But it’s worth scanning the first four games of the 2022 season to get a feel for how the year could begin.
Week 1: 49ers at Bears
Chicago begins its season at home against a San Francisco 49ers team in transition. Trey Lance should be the starting quarterback, setting up a fun duel between Bears quarterback Justin Fields — the No. 11 pick in the 2021 NFL draft — and Lance, who the 49ers picked No. 3 overall.
The Bears should be able to contain Lance and the 49ers’ offense. Like the Bears and Fields, there will be growing pains for San Francisco. Still, with so much uncertainty surrounding Chicago’s offense in 2022, it’s difficult to project the Bears scoring enough points against a talented 49ers defense to win this game.
It’s not the worst matchup for the Bears to start the 2022 season, but the edge has to go to San Francisco. It’ll probably be the kind of game that had Chicago drawn in Week 10 or 11, the outcome might be different. It’s just too big of a challenge to overcome in Matt Eberflus’ debut.
Game prediction: 49ers 17, Bears 10