Last week the Cincinnati Bengals capped off a tremendous 2021 season by narrowly losing in the Super Bowl to the Los Angeles Rams, 23 to 20. The Bengals won the AFC North by finishing 10-7 and they did it behind a breakout season from second year quarterback Joe Burrow.
Their team was far from flawless, but they came out of nowhere and got hot at the right time to make their run. In the 2020 season the Bengals limped to a 4-11-1 record while their rookie QB Burrow only played in 10 games due to an injury.
That scenario should seem familiar to Chicago Bears fans, because we just watched our rookie quarterback play in only 12 games as the Bears stumbled their way to a 6-11 record.
Now I’m not predicting an NFC Championship for our beloved in 2022, but the NFL has teams make these types of remarkable, one year turnarounds each season.
In this recent SB Nation Reacts poll that went out to fans from all 32 teams, it was the Bears that took in the most votes. NFL fans believe the Bears are the likeliest to have a Bengals-like, long-shot success story in 2022.
New general manager Ryan Poles has a tough road ahead of him re-tooling the roster, and new head coach Matt Eberflus is going to be creating a whole new culture for the team, while new defensive coordinator Alan Williams is transitioning the D to a 4-3 front, with offensive coordinator Luke Getsy designing his scheme around Justin Fields and the talent on the offense.
That’s a heck of a lot of freshness for a franchise that hasn’t had a winning season since 2018, but strange things happening is commonplace in the NFL.
Here are the full results of the poll.
Chicago Bears: 24%
Washington Commanders: 21%
Jacksonville Jaguars: 19%
New York Giants: 9%
Detroit Lions: 9%
New York Jets: 6%
Houston Texans: 4%
Do you think it’s possible for the Bears to make a quick turnaround?
Bears’ fans, SB Nation Reacts is a neat way share your voice with fans across the NFL with their fun and topical surveys. Each week they’ll shoot out some questions to our plugged-in fanbase, both about the Bears and the other 31 teams too, and we’ll share the results here on Windy City Gridiron. Sign up here to join Reacts.