Well, that was a fun 10 days, wasn’t it?
Ten glorious days. That’s what we get as Bears fans for the 2022 regular season. Sure, we get our badge for “Great trade of number one pick” and another for “Most money spent in free agency” but at the end of the day, 10 days is all we got.
Ten days of hope. Ten days of enjoyment. Ten days of misguided belief. We said, “look, this Bears team might be turning the corner. They’ve played good football in 7 of the last 8 quarters. They finally won a game. They have the Minnesota Vikings and Las Vegas Raiders on deck. Things are about to get better.” But what did we get? We got 10 days.
The season is over. The Bears need to go 8-3 the rest of the way to earn a winning record and have a chance at the playoffs. What’s that? This season wasn’t about the playoffs? This season was about Justin Fields' development? Well, we can throw that out the window too. That injury ended Justin Fields career with the Chicago Bears.
No, I’m not saying he’s done for the year, but I am saying that injury will be the beginning of the end for Fields here. I’m disappointed. I wanted this so bad, but when he gets back, even if he just misses a couple of games, he’s going to have half a season at best to prove he’s the guy when the first half of the season resulted in 2 good performances, 1 win and 1 injury.
It’s a brutal finish to the season and if you are one of these “Give Tyson Bagent a chance” guys, I mean, come on. Bagent is auditioning for the QB2 role in Chicago, nothing more. “But Tony Romo was a UDFA from a small school too,” you say. Why yes, yes he was, but did Tony Romo have a noodle arm for anything beyond about 30 yards? That’s not sustainable for NFL success. That’s sustainable for a smart, efficient backup quarterback that can keep you in games if your QB1 is injured, but you can’t have success in the NFL if you can’t pose a threat to stretch the field and Bagent’s arm cannot do that and you saw it on Sunday.
That may be something he can improve on somewhat with an NFL training staff working with him, but I don’t see it as anything that can reach where it needs to be for him to be a top 15 quarterback in this league.
So what does that leave us? Well, I won’t tell you how to fan, that’s up to you. If you want to root for wins on Sunday, go for it. If you want the Bears to lose out and secure the top two picks in the draft, go for it. It’s mid-October and the season is over. I don’t think it’s worth having a bunch of inter-fan fighting because some fans want to put hope in the Caleb Williams basket.
Ryan Poles has set this team up for success via his process, but the rest of the year we are going to be evaluating Ryan Poles’ evaluations. His process is sound, his evaluations should be questioned.
I always say every GM deserves at least three offseasons before their job can be judged, and I still believe that’s the case for Poles, but if Kevin Warren wants to align everything this offseason and bring in a GM, head coach and QB, so be it, let’s do it the right way for the first time.
And give Poles credit, whether it’s him or a new GM, there’s a foundation here to bring in a rookie QB. The offensive line is serviceable and can be improved upon again this offseason. The skill positions have some talent, led by DJ Moore. You could bring in a rookie QB with an offensive minded head coach and not ruin him like the Bears tried to do in 2017 and 2021 (and 2022 for that matter).
But it’s time to judge Poles on the players he’s brought in. He spent on Tremaine Edmunds, he hasn’t lived up to his contract. He spent on Yannick Ngakoue, the results haven’t been there. He brought in Andrew Billings, he’s been fantastic. He brought in Nate Davis, he’s been good when he’s been able to play. Kevin Warren’s decision won’t be an easy one.
Let’s hope brighter days are ahead, Bears fans, because 2023 might as well be over, and we look back on it, what will we have?
- Terrell Bernard makes 1/12 of what Tremaine Edmunds does, and the Bills replacement for Edmunds has more tackles, sacks, TFLs, passes defended, interceptions, fumble recoveries and is better in coverage. He’s literally beating Edmunds in every statistical category.
- Why is Dan Feeney on the roster when the first two centers clearly can’t do their job and he still can’t see the field? Why burn a 6th round pick for no reason?
- It’s time Tyler Scott’s workload increases on Sundays. Let’s see what he can do.
- Hopefully Roschon Johnson returns on Sunday. D’Onta Foreman’s pass blocking is atrocious.
- There are now metrics out there that show the Bears coaching staff is literally the worst in the league.
- It’s early, but Ben Johnson should be atop the Bears list for new coaches to interview in 2024.
- If Kevin Warren jettisons Poles, San Francisco 49ers assistant GM Adam Peters would be a good place to start looking.
- It would be hard to imagine the Bears not having two picks in the top five in next years draft
- I have a hard time not imagining a rookie QB and Marvin Harrison Jr coming to Chicago in that scenario, that brings joy in a dreary season.
- Is it January yet?