Taking Back The North – A Roadmap

Chicago Bears

In my last article, I mentioned that I think the Bears can win eleven games. From a big picture view, most people are going to laugh at that prediction. But when you break down our season week by week, one game at a time, it doesn’t seem so absurd. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look.

First, a disclaimer. As I mentioned in my earlier article, we don’t know anything about the 2022 Chicago Bears. New front office, new head coach, new coordinators with new schemes, and several new players, these are all unknowns. Any prediction for the Bears’ 2022 win-loss record is based off big assumptions.

The assumptions my prediction is built on are primarily 1) that Justin Fields takes a leap this year and 2) the defense improves from 13th overall to Top 10.

Week 1 Bears/49ers: WIN

Assuming Trey Lance starts, this will be his first start as the Niners’ unquestioned QB1. It probably won’t be pretty given his lack of experience. The Bears nearly won this game last year with a porous secondary and a terrible coaching staff, and both of those problems have been sufficiently addressed. Bears start 1-0.

Week 2 Bears at Packers: WIN

Debate a wall on this one. Green Bay has the worst wide receiver room in the league, and our secondary will probably be very good. As good as Rodgers is, he can’t do it all. This will be Eberflus’ second game as head coach, so there still won’t be much tape on us for Green Bay to prepare. This will be a low scoring affair that favors Chicago, and the Bears improve to 2-0.

Week 3 Bears/Texans: WIN

It’s the Texans. No justification needed. Bears improve to 3-0.

Week 4 Bears at Giants: WIN

The Giants are still not a good football team, despite an excellent draft, and they will continue to suck until they move on from Daniel Jones. Bears win handily and improve to 4-0.

Week 5 Bears at Vikings: LOSS

First loss of the year will be handed down in Minnesota. Here our new secondary gets their first major test and fall short as Justin Jefferson does what Justin Jefferson does best. Fields will keep it close against a rebuilding Vikings defense, but can’t get the win. Bears are 4-1.

Week 6 Bears/Commanders: WIN

The Colts are my AFC team, so I’m very familiar with Carson Wentz. Don’t let the stat sheet watchers fool you, Wentz is terrible. He had a great situation in Indy and he blew it. Now he’s on a worse team with worse coaching. Meanwhile Fields and Mooney will have established themselves as a dynamic duo by now and Kmet, Pringle, and Jones will be proving the haters wrong. Our second prime time game of the year, and our second prime time win. Bears improve to 5-1.

Week 7 Bears at Patriots: WIN

Fields vs Jones II, a rematch of the 2021 CFB National Championship. Last year the Patriots benefitted from a cupcake schedule and tricked everyone into thinking they’re back. This year they’re going to return to Earth. Mac will struggle moving the ball against our defense, and Fields will take advantage of a mediocre defense. Bears win in a shocking blowout and are 6-1 on the season, undefeated in prime time. Finally the national media starts to give us respect.

Week 8 Bears at Cowboys: LOSS

Speaking of coming back to Earth, this could be an ugly game for us. The Cowboys will be in midseason form, meaning they’re playing elite football and getting all the ‘We dem Boys’ tweets going again, only to collapse late in the season like always. But here in Week 8, the Bears won’t be able to keep up with Dak and his weapons and we get embarrassed in Dallas. Bears fall to 6-2.

Week 9 Bears/Dolphins: LOSS

This game is hard to call, because the outcome depends entirely on how Tua plays. I think he’ll be decent, and all the offensive firepower will overwhelm our secondary. This could go either way, but we probably take an L here and this one could also be an ugly one. The talking heads at ESPN start to chirp as the Bears drop two in a row and are 6-3.

Week 10 Bears/Lions: WIN

A get-right game, just what the doctor ordered. The Lions are building an impressive squad and are trending upwards. But until further notice the Lions are still the Lions. Bears improve to 7-3.

Week 11 Bears at Falcons: WIN

The Falcons traded long-time starter Matt Ryan and their best wide receiver is suspended all season. They are firmly at Step 1 of the rebuild, what else can I say? Bears win a blowout and are 8-3.

Week 12 Bears at Jets: WIN

Look. The Jets are overhyped as hell, and I don’t believe in Zach Wilson, so they get the same treatment as Detroit: count them out until they can prove otherwise. Maybe the Jets improve this year but they’ve only won 17 games in the last 4 years and I don’t think they’ll improve much. Bears win and are 9-3.

Week 13 Bears/Packers: LOSS

We stole the spotlight at Lambeau in Week 2, so Rodgers returns the favor in another slugfest. We’ll be back to sweeping the Packers again one year, but probably not this year. Bears fall to 9-4.

Week 15 Bears/Eagles: LOSS

This is the closest 50/50 game of the season, in my opinion. This could honestly go either way and no matter how much I think about it, I can’t give either team a clear edge. So I’ll go with the more complete team, the Eagles. Bears are now 9-5 and the chirping returns after consecutive losses.

Week 16 Bears/Bills: LOSS

We are going to catch the fattest, most ungodly L of the season from Josh Allen and company, and on Christmas Eve of all days. I don’t think this will even be competitive for a minute. The Bills are true Super Bowl contenders who will steamroll over our poor Bears. We drop 3 straight and are 9-6, and the national media are going to have a field day.

Week 17 Bears at Lions: WIN

Once again, the Lions are still the Lions and I will never pick them to beat us until they can prove otherwise. Bears improve to 10-6.

Week 18 Bears/Vikings: WIN

In the final game, the Bears are tied with the Packers and need a win to take the division crown. At home, with playoff implications on the line, we prove to be the tougher, better coached team and win a gritty matchup to finish the season 11-6, tied with the Packers and taking the Division crown with a better conference record.

So there you have it. A roadmap to 11 wins and a division crown. Will this come to fruition? Perhaps, perhaps not. Crazier things have happened, like a 4-11-1 team going on to win their division and play in the Super Bowl.

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