Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears just wrapped up a couple of solid practices at the Grand Sports Complex in Westfield, Indiana, scrimmaging against the Indianapolis Colts. They performed so well that head coach Matt Eberflus has decided that Fields and a handful of starters would sit out Saturday’s preseason matchup.
While the coaching staff is confident in Fields after seeing him execute the offense all offseason, our fans are apparently right there with them. In the latest SB Nation Reacts poll, 96% of us are confident in the direction the Bears are heading, and I’d wager that most of that is due to Fields.
The QB1 taking a step in play this year would be huge for the team, but he’s not forced to do it alone in 2023. There are upgrades in every position group on the offense, and the defense is primed for a better performance this season as well.
This is year two of the Ryan Poles era, and he’s done a bunch of work setting the franchise up for the long haul with his management of the salary cap and acquisition of future draft picks. Time will tell if Poles had made the right decisions, but he’s thinking like a GM that wants sustained success. He’s not trading away draft capital for immediate dividends, and he’s not using future cap space to pay players now.
The future seems bright, but a bright future in the NFL generally revolves around the quarterback, so if Poles has his guy, everything else will fall into place.
The most confident fan base right now are the Jaguars, Giants, and Seahawks at 98%, the second most confident are the Lions and Eagles at 97%, and the Steelers’ fans are tied with ours at 96%.
The least confident fanbase are those that cheer for the Buccaneers (57%).
While those Reacts results are primarily from us Bears fans that voted in this week’s poll here on WCG, the following results were sent out in an email to fans of all 32 teams earlier this week.
After their week one win against the Titans, Bear fans were excited about the “perfect” performance from Fields, and discussion about yards after the catch dominated the media.
Which makes Chicago’s placement in this unsurprising.
Are we riding too high?
I’ll be honest, I haven’t heard a peep from Raiders fans, so that was surprising to see them at number one. Same with the Saints and their fan base. Did acquiring Derek Carr move the needle for them?
Lions fans seem to be the most boisterous, but they have a good reason considering how their team ended the 2022 season, so I can’t fault them for their anticipation.
The Steelers are always in the mix — no losing season since 2003 — so their fans should always be feeling it.
We’re excited because the offseason is the time for football fans to be excited, and we have a team that is undoubtedly on the upswing.
I know plenty of Bears fans are hyped over the Titans game and amped up to see their team improve from last year’s three-win campaign, but I don’t think many of us are expecting a Super Bowl this season.
The national perspective is that we’re riding too high, but that’s probably because fans aren’t used to us being this excited to watch our team play.
I think our preseason vibes are riding at the correct elevation.
SB Nation Reacts is a survey of fans across the NFL, and throughout the year, we ask questions of the most plugged-in Chicago Bears fans and fans across the country.
Sign up here to participate in the weekly emailed surveys.