There are reasons to be optimistic for the Bears this year. Justin Fields has had his crispest start to a summer program in his second year with Luke Getsy. Fields also appears to have had no issues getting into a groove with new No. 1 wideout DJ Moore. An influx of talent on the offensive line should help keep Fields upright more often.
Add it all together, and it’s understandable that many expect the Bears to climb out of the NFL’s basement in 2023. Taking a look at the big picture, just four more games this year would represent a big improvement and set the team up to push for the postseason in 2024. NFL Network analyst, and noted Bears fan, Adam Rank believes the Bears will put their rebuild in hyper drive, however. In a video published on Saturday, Rank predicted the Bears would go 12-5 this season.
Rank’s impressive campaign for the Bears begins with a quick start against the Packers and Buccaneers.
“You think I’m going to pick the Bears to lose Week 1 to the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers?” Rank said. “No way.”
He has the Bears losing their first game of the year in Week 3 at Arrowhead Stadium.
“Matt Nagy, offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs? Nah, I gotta be somewhat realistic here.”
That loss must’ve been a hard-fought battle that gave the Bears confidence, because in Rank’s world it sparked a four-game win streak. Following the loss to the Chiefs, Rank has the Bears beating the Broncos, Commanders, Vikings and Raiders. The Bears face a mini hiccup in Weeks 8 and 9, when they drop two road games to the Chargers and Saints. Then, Rank has the team getting back on track on Thursday Night Football with a win over the Panthers. The Bears then use the extra time to help them travel to Detroit for another big divisional victory.
“I know everyone loves the Lions this year, but give me a win there.”
The Bears’ dreams of going undefeated in the NFC North die in Week 12, where Rank chalked up a loss to the Vikings in Minnesota. The bye week doesn’t help in Rank’s world, and the Bears drop another game to the Lions at home in Week 14.
That puts the Bears at 8-5 heading into the final quarter of the season. If that’s the case they will be firmly in the hunt for the playoffs, and Rank believes they’ll surge into the postseason with four straight wins.
“Matt Eberflus knows what to do to handle DeShaun Watson (in a win against the Browns. Oh, this works out perfectly. Win over the Cardinals, win over the Falcons who I actually think are going to be very good, and close it outー yeah highlight that!ー that’s a win at Lambeau.”
If things work out in real life like they did in Rank’s prediction, then we’ll probably be talking about postseason awards for guys like Fields and Eberflus. Realistically, a turnaround of that caliber would take mammoth improvements all over the roster, not just with Fields and the offense. Rank recognizes his predictions might not be exactly objective, either.
“I might be very biased. I might be very one-sided. But I have the Bears with 12 wins this year. Meme me.”
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