The Chicago Bears wrapped the 2022 season with a 3-14 document, which culminated in a 10-game shedding streak. However there’s nonetheless causes to be optimistic concerning the future, together with a boatload of wage cap area, the primary general decide within the 2023 NFL draft and the emergence of quarterback Justin Fields.
Right here at Bears Wire, we went place by place via the Bears roster and graded each participant for the 2022 season.
See our roundup right here:
The truth that Fields was capable of finding success this season regardless of less-than-ideal circumstances was spectacular sufficient. However then you definitely think about his star high quality and making NFL historical past on an almost-weekly foundation, it’s unreal that he was in a position to have such a profound impression on this Bears offense. (And it was evident within the two video games he missed). Fields established himself as one of many NFL’s most enjoyable younger gamers along with his elite velocity and spectacular athleticism. He set the NFL regular-season document for many speeding yards in a recreation by a quarterback — and he fell simply 64 yards shy of breaking Lamar Jackson’s single-season speeding document. Sure, Fields has work to do in terms of changing into a greater passer. However addressing holes on the offensive line and at receiver will go a great distance in serving to with that. — Alyssa Barbieri
Herbert was a wonderful again to pair with Montgomery for the reason that two had differing skillsets. They every made up for one another’s deficiencies, each within the run and go recreation. Herbert’s skill to hit open holes with burst was worthwhile for the Bears when working the soccer. His manufacturing elevated in nearly each class from his rookie 12 months and sure would have eclipsed 1,000 yards for his profession had he not missed 4 video games with an damage. Herbert’s major challenge is along with his go safety. He’s a legal responsibility on passing downs and struggles choosing up his project when not working the ball. However he’s nonetheless a worthwhile asset on offense and may see loads of alternatives in 2023. Whether or not that’s splitting time with Montgomery or another person stays to be seen. — Brendan Sugrue
The Bears made an enormous splash on the commerce deadline, buying Claypool from the Steelers in trade for their very own second-round decide within the 2023 NFL Draft. Claypool flashed for the Steelers in two and a half seasons, however didn’t do a lot with the Bears since coming over. He wasn’t utilized almost as a lot as initially thought, he eclipsed 50 yards in only one recreation, and missed time with a knee damage close to the top of the season. It feels unfair to grade him since he was nonetheless clearly getting up to the mark, however there wanted to be extra from him in seven video games. The acquisition was by no means nearly one season, although, and Claypool ought to play a a lot bigger function in 2023. — Brendan Sugrue
The 2022 season was Kmet’s probability to indicate he could be the man at tight finish and he did simply that. Kmet was essentially the most constant go catcher for the Bears, main the workforce in almost each statistical receving class. Probably the most notable class was touchdowns the place he totaled seven after failing to search out the top zone all 12 months in 2021. It wasn’t nearly manufacturing for Kmet, although. He appeared like a extra fluid route runner, in a position to make powerful catches that wouldn’t have been doable his first couple of seasons. — Brendan Sugrue
What began as an ominous offseason for Jenkins rapidly turned a dream situation. Jenkins making the change to proper guard this offseason was the perfect factor that occurred to this offensive line in 2022. He was simply essentially the most constant offensive lineman — in his first 12 months in a model new place — and he performed at a Professional Bowl degree. Jenkins has been a dominant run blocker and confirmed enchancment in go safety. If something, the largest concern with Jenkins is his skill to remain wholesome. After lacking most of his rookie season as a consequence of a again damage, he suffered a neck damage that sidelined him within the closing weeks of the season. — Alyssa Barbieri
Jones was the one participant alongside the defensive inside value bringing again in 2023. And he wasn’t even Plan A. Jones was signed after Larry Ogunjobi’s failed bodily within the offseason, however he supplied consistency to the workforce’s weakest place group. Jones served because the three-technique in Matt Eberflus’ protection, one of the crucial necessary positions, and he was strong. Jones led the Bears in tackles for loss and was second in QB hits. He even garnered reward from GM Ryan Poles for his consistency and playmaking skill. Whereas Chicago will doubtless look to discover a celebrity at 3-tech this offseason, you need to determine Jones will nonetheless play a key function on subsequent 12 months’s defensive position. — Alyssa Barbieri
Exterior of his recreation in opposition to the Inexperienced Bay Packers in Week 2, Gipson’s manufacturing dipped significantly, however it wasn’t all his fault. For one, Gipson performed below 50% of the workforce’s snaps in all however one recreation previous to the commerce of Robert Quinn. When he was on the sector, the previous Tulsa standout confronted quite a few double groups because the workforce’s solely legit pass-rushing menace.
Gipson confirmed he isn’t a dominant go rusher and may’t merely simply beat everybody to the quarterback. However with one other star participant on the road, he could be the participant who takes benefit of one-on-one matchups. His manufacturing in 2023 will rely closely on who the Bears can purchase in free company and the draft. — Brendan Sugrue
Sanborn was one of the crucial nice surprises of the 2022 season, and all it took was Roquan Smith being traded to the Ravens for Sanborn to get his shot. The undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin confirmed his potential throughout the preseason, the place he rapidly turned a fan favourite, and that translated to the common season in his six begins. Sanborn showcased his elite instincts and strong tackling that introduced consistency to the entrance seven. He had 48 solo tackles in six begins and was on tempo to guide the league (had he began all 17 video games). Sanborn additionally earned a nod on Professional Soccer Focus’ All-Rookie Crew. Sadly, Sanborn’s spectacular rookie marketing campaign was reduce quick by damage. However, on the intense facet, the Bears seem like they’ve discovered their beginning center linebacker transferring ahead. — Alyssa Barbieri
Johnson entered the season because the workforce’s high cornerback and groups handled him as such early on. For the primary two weeks, Johnson wasn’t focused within the passing recreation and was clearly the defender groups wished to keep away from. That ultimately light and Johnson had some ups and downs, going through just a few of the higher offenses in the course of the season. His turnover numbers want to extend as he has simply three takeaways in as many seasons, however his stats as an entire improved from 2021. He allowed only one landing and lowered his opposing passer score from 101.9 to 94.6, in keeping with Professional Soccer Reference. — Brendan Sugrue
Jackson had a bounce again 12 months in 2022, the place he established himself as a defensive chief following the departures of Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn. After not notching an interception within the earlier two seasons, Jackson led the Bears with 4 picks — and that was in simply 12 video games, as he missed the ultimate 5 after struggling a season-ending foot damage. Jackson added 80 complete tackles, together with one for a loss, six go breakups and led the workforce with two pressured fumbles. With rookie Jaquan Brisker within the field, Jackson thrived in his return to free security, which made him one of many NFL’s greatest playmaking safeties within the first two years of his profession. — Alyssa Barbieri
On the subject of area objectives, Santos was as constant as ever. He missed simply two kicks all 12 months lengthy and went 4/5 from past 50 yards, a distance that has plagued him prior to now. The place he had points, nevertheless, was kicking additional factors. Santos missed 5 point-after makes an attempt, simply essentially the most he’s had in a season they usually all got here at Soldier Subject. Granted, two of them got here throughout the Week 1 monsoon however it was an issue that endured all year long at dwelling. — Brendan Sugrue
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