The schedule is out, we all do it, we look at the schedule and sit there and go, win, win, loss, etc. So let’s put it to paper, shall we? People love telling people that they’re wrong, so this is a great opportunity to do it to me!
Here’s a nice early guess as to how the 2023 Chicago Bears season will play out.
Week One- Bears 27, Packers 16; Record: 1-0
Justin Fields gets going with a bang in 2023 accounting for all three touchdowns, two in the air to Cole Kmet and Darnell Mooney and one on the ground. Jordan Love looks pedestrian passing for 190 yards and one touchdown, but is also picked off by Eddie Jackson. The Bears take the lead early and never look back as they start off the season with a win for the second season in a row.
Week Two- Bears 24, Buccaneers 19; Record: 2-0
Tom Brady is watching this one from home as the Bucs are headed in a new direction. What that direction is yet, nobody knows, including the Bucs. Fields has another nice performance, not quite as electric as week one, but he makes good decisions with the football, and D’Onta Foreman and Roschon Johnson both find the end zone as the Bears kick off the season with a two game win streak.
Week Three- Chiefs 38, Bears 31; Record: 2-1
This one turns out to be a barn burner and a lot of fun. Patrick Mahomes is dynamic. The Bears can’t create enough of a pass rush, and he has his way with their young secondary throwing for over 350 yards and four touchdowns, but Justin Fields does his best Superman impression to keep the Bears in the game. Fields throws his first career 300-yard game and still scores on a 45-yard touchdown run. Fields also connects with DJ Moore for their first touchdown of the season.
Week Four- Bears 16, Broncos 13; Record: 3-1
The Broncos defense does a good job keeping Fields in check, but Bears’ rookie kicker Andre Szmyt goes 3 for 3 on field goals, including a 51-yarder and Foreman finds the end zone once again to pace the Bears to victory. The Broncos offense continues to look flat as Russell Wilson still looks more like the 2022 version in this one.
Week Five- Commanders 17, Bears 16; Record: 3-2
The Bears tally just 16 points for the second week in a row, but this time find themselves on the wrong side of the win column. The Commanders defense bottles up and frustrates Fields for most of the night and Fields is sacked a season-high four times in this one.
The Commanders don’t do much on offense, but they don’t have to when Jonathan Allen scoops up a Fields fumble off a Daron Payne sack and scampers 23 yards to the end zone. Fields has a chance to bring them down for a game winning field goal but comes up short at midfield and the Bears fall to 3-2.
Week Six- Bears 27, Vikings 24; Record: 4-2
While Fields fell short last week in his quest for a game winning drive, this week he succeeds after Kirk Cousins and the Vikings tie it up at 24 with just over two minutes to go. Fields drives the team 53 yards including a huge third down conversion to DJ Moore in their own territory to set up the game winning 39-yard field goal from rookie Andre Szmyt. Fields also cracked 100 yards rushing for the second time this season on the way to the victory.
Week Seven- Raiders 30, Bears 21; Record: 4-3
Most Bears fans thought the Bears would be moving to 5-2 this week, but the defense comes out flat and gets run over by Josh Jacobs who runs for nearly 200 yards and two touchdowns. Jimmy Garoppolo looks decent, and despite another strong performance from Justin Fields and the offense, the team has two red zone turnovers (one interception from Fields and one fumble from Johnson) and just can’t put enough points on the board.
Week Eight- Chargers 31, Bears 24; Record 4-4
The Bears fans came out to southern California for this one but in the end, are disappointed thanks to a great game from Justin Herbert. Herbert throws for four touchdowns and over 300 yards passing, again due to a struggling pass rush. Chase Claypool scores his first touchdown on the season as does Velus Jones who goes for 24 yards and a score on a jet sweep, but it’s not enough as the Bears record falls to .500.
Week Nine- Bears 20, Saints 16; Record 5-4
The Saints came in as the favorites in this one, but the Bears pull off a mild upset and defeat the first place Saints in a largely defensive battle. Rookie Tyrique Stevenson scoops up a fumble and returns it to the house, and even though Fields isn’t his sharpest, he does hook up with Tyler Scott on a 55-yard bomb for Scott’s first career touchdown.
Week Ten- Bears 33, Panthers 16; Record 6-4
Fans start talking playoffs after a dominating performance of the Carolina Panthers. Bryce Young struggles with two turnovers, including an interception by Zacch Pickens after Young threw a pass that was batted up in the air at the line of scrimmage. Fields looks fantastic, and the Bears feature Moore like you knew they would. Moore has 7 catches for 110 yards and two TDs as the Bears cruise in their best performance of the season.
Week Eleven- Lions 31, Bears 17; Record 6-5
The Bears face the Lions with first place in the NFC North on the line and this one, unfortunately, goes Detroit’s way. Jared Goff looks solid in this one as he’s given ample time and is able to pick apart the secondary. Aidan Hutchinson has his way with the Bears offensive line and sacks Fields twice as the Lions win this one comfortably.
Week Twelve- Vikings 28, Bears 20; Record 6-6
The Bears fail in their opportunity to sweep the Vikings as Minnesota recovers from their loss to Chicago earlier in the year. Jaylon Johnson was out for this one, and Justin Jefferson tortured the Bears secondary. The Bears score a late touchdown to make this one look closer than it was, Minnesota cruises.
Week Fourteen- Bears 34, Lions 31 OT; Record 7-6
The Tremaine Edmunds game. Edmunds is all over the field, personally responsible for bottling up both David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. Edmunds also caused a fumble, has an interception, and sacks Goff on his way to winning defensive player of the week honors. The Bears need overtime to finish this one off, but they do what’s needed and remain in the playoff hunt.
Week Fifteen- Browns 20, Bears 19; Record 7-7
This one is a tough one to swallow. A win was going to put the Bears in great shape for a playoff berth especially with the anemic Cardinals next week, but the offense doesn’t quite click this week, and Deshaun Watson does enough to get the Browns in the win column despite the Bears being road favorites in Cleveland.
Week Sixteen- Bears 41, Cardinals 13; Record 8-7
The Bears are pissed off after last week’s rough loss and take it out on the hapless Arizona Cardinals. Justin Fields runs for a score, passes for two, and Roschon Johnson, steadily improving, scores two touchdowns, and the Bears cruise in this one. Kyler Murray appears healthy but sits this one with a sore hamstring as the Cardinals have their sights set on Caleb Williams.
Week Seventeen- Falcons 24, Bears 20; Record 8-8
A win here and in week 18 against the Packers could give the Bears a division championship, but they show they aren’t quite ready for primetime. Rookie Bijan Robinson has a game, accounting for 150 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. That’s enough for the Bears to drop a tough one to Atlanta and firmly on the fence for the seventh playoff spot in the NFC.
Week Eighteen- Packers 17, Bears 13; Record 8-9
The Bears need a win and a little help to get the seventh and final playoff spot in the NFC, but the Packers win this one and spoil the Bears' chance at returning to the playoffs. In what is largely a bumpy game in frigid temperatures, neither team looks particularly good, but the Packers win their final game of the season, and the Bears miss the playoffs after dropping three of their last four.
A few notes about the season:
The Bears scored 403 points this year, averaging 23.8 points per game. Based on 2022 numbers, the Bears would finish 11th in scoring.
The Bears' defense gave up 384 points this year, averaging 22.6 points per game. Based on 2022 numbers, the Bears defense would finish 21st.
The Bears scored 46 touchdowns this year.
They scored two defensive touchdowns (Stevenson, Brisker).
They had 24 receiving touchdowns (Moore 8, Mooney 6, Kmet 5, Claypool 2, Tonyan 2, Scott 1).
They had 20 rushing touchdowns (Fields 6, Johnson 5, Foreman 4, Herbert 4, Jones 1).
Would you be satisfied with this outcome, Bears fans?