I’ve said it on Twitter many times during this 2022 offseason: if you believe in Justin Fields, if you truly believe he’s a franchise quarterback and will take a decent step forward this year, then there is no way you can project the Bears to win 6 games or less this year.
Some people will point to the 2020 Houston Texans season to object to this. “Deshaun Watson had his best season ever in 2020 and the Texans won only 4 games, so maybe it’s okay if the Bears only go 4-13 this season!”
Sorry, but that comparison won’t fly because the Bears are nowhere close to the 2020 Texans.
The 2020 Texans were an absolute mess of an organization, a dumpster full of off-field drama. They had the worst coaching in the league and the front office was in chaos. The defense gave up thirty points per game. That’s why they only won four games despite getting an impressive season from their quarterback.
The Bears ownership is not currently a dumpster fire. The front office is not in chaos. Our head coach is not on the hot seat. And our defense sure as hell is not going to be giving up thirty points per game against our 2022 opponents (have I mentioned how weak our schedule is compared to last year?).
Yes, the Bears were not good last year. They haven’t been good since 2018. But since then we’ve gone 22-27. We’re not one of the bottom-feeders, despite what the naysayers may naysay. In that same time period, the Jets are 13-36, the Lions 11-36-2, Texans and Falcons both 18-31, Jags 10-39, and Washington 18-32.
We’ve been solidly below-average, but now with new players and a new regime, our below-average team should be taking a step forward with improved play at quarterback. We could win as many as elven games if all goes well, and we can certainly win at least seven against the true bottom-tier teams I listed above.
But if we end next year 4-13? Odds are something went very, very wrong and we are in big trouble.