Bears game-by-game predictions for the crucial 2023 season – NBC Sports Chicago

When the NFL released the 2023 schedule, I released real-time, game-by-game predictions for the Bears 2023 season. I did so without seeing the roster in action or knowing what issues might arise during training camp.

Well, the first week has arrived, and with more information on all 32 teams, the predictions need an update.

The Bears’ improved offensive line took less than 10 snaps all together during training camp. Left guard Tevin Jenkins is a short-term injured reserve with a leg injury, which meant Cody Whitehare had to drop back at left guard so Lucas Patrick could get a nod at the center.

With Line O changing every day of camp, the Bears offense had a hard time finding a foothold. DJ Moore is special. It gives the Bears an easy button that they didn’t have offense last season outside of the legs of Justin Fields. Chase Claypool is off to a good start to camp but has missed the last three weeks with a hamstring injury. He’s now completely healthy but missed valuable time on his turf-building chemistry with Fields.

As for the Bears’ defense, talk of going from pathetic to pure might be premature. The back seven has a chance to be special. I think fullback TJ Edwards could eventually be the best player in the unit, and his name isn’t Jaquan Brisker. Tremaine Edmonds will create problems down the middle.

But the defensive line still looks like a problem. If the Bears can’t consistently stop runs or reach the passer, it doesn’t matter how good their linebackers and secondary players are this fall.

The 2023 season is a critical season for this rebuilding process. Is Justin Fields doing enough to promote himself as a franchise signal caller? Did Ryan Bowles make the right moves?

Let’s find out:

Week 1: vs. Green Bay Packers

When the schedule was released, I thought there was no way the Bears would lose this game to the Packers.

The month of August watching a heavy attack fail to find its rhythm behind a shifting offensive line erased that notion from my mind.

Jordan Love has looked really good in the pre-season. The Packers are talented on defense, wield a monster with two heads at the running back, and have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.

Last season, the Packers averaged just under 200 yards rushing per game against the Bears. The “improved” Bears defense did not appear in the preseason.

However, I don’t want to live in Chicago where Jordan Love dances and beats the Bears in the first game in the post-Aaron Rodgers era.

Justin Fields leads Love and Kyler Gordon wins Week 1 with a late interception.

Bears 28, Packers 24

Week 2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

People still talk about the Bucs as that team that won the Super Bowl and had a chance to repeat during the first two years of the Tom Brady era.

Yes, Mike Evans and Chris Goodwin are still out there. Shaq Barrett and Lafonte David still support the defence.

But times are different in Tampa.

Baker Mayfield pulled off a wild win Thursday night against the Raiders in a one last kickoff party, but I don’t think Tampa will be the place to revive him.

Tyrek Stephenson and Eddie Jackson both selected Mayfield, and the Bears ran for 240 yards as a team in a dull Week 2 win.

Bears 27, Bucks 17

Week 3: Kansas City Chiefs

Good Vibes were beaten 2-0 in the Week 3 semifinal.

Chris Jones might still be holding out. Travis Kelsey may still have a badly stretched knee. It won’t matter.

Patrick Mahomes launches a lightning attack on the bears, and the attack can do little to keep up.

Presidents 38, Bears 17

Week 4: vs. the Broncos

I don’t know what to do with Sean Payton’s reclamation project in Denver.

Payton was hired in part to overhaul Russell Wilson. But it may be beyond repair.

However, the Broncos have invested heavily in rebuilding their offensive line and are planning to run football.

This Bears defense remains shady. This is a bad combination. They got GASHED by Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine, and Fields threw two interceptions as the Bears fell to 2-2.

Broncos 23, Bears 17

Week 5: Washington Commanders (Thursday Night Football)

Al Michael and Kirk Herbstreet got a front row seat to the Bears-Commanders Big Ten East rock game last season. They’ll get that gift again this fall.

The Bears were unable to keep clean fields against last season’s four boast leaders. The same story unfolds this season, but Fields steps up to his mantle and saves the pass-slicing protection with his legs.

Fields rushes for 155 yards and two touchdowns as the Bears win a massive case in Landover, Maryland.

Bears 17, Leaders 10

Week 6: against the Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings went 13-4 last season going 11-0 in games with a score of one.

It won’t happen again in 2023, but the Vikings are still a terrible competition for the Bears.

Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison and TJ Hawkinson set the Bears on fire as Chicago’s defensive front struggles to breathe on Kirk Cousins.

Back to .500.

Vikings 31, Bears 20

Week 7: vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Native son Jimmy Garoppolo and our “maybe rebuild but maybe try to compete” come to town in Week 7.

Josh Jacobs attacks the Bears’ spotty defense, but Fields finds D.J. Moore for two runs in the first half to keep things even. With the game tied in the fourth quarter, Fields hits Chase Claypool from 10 yards out to give the Bears the lead with 1:20 remaining.

Jaylon Johnson singles Garoppolo for the win.

Bears 31, Raiders 24

Week 8: at Los Angeles Chargers (Sunday Night Football)

Justin vs. Justin on Sunday Night Football, what could be better?

For bears, there’s a lot going on.

New Chargers offensive coordinator Kellen Moore opens the play, and Justin Herbert throws for 352 yards and four touchdowns as the Bolts beat the Bears.

Chargers, 35, Bears 20

Week 9: New Orleans Saints

A 4-4 start to the season keeps the Bears alive in November, but a trip to the Bayou to face the first-place Saints won’t help their cause.

The Bears collapse under the deafening din of the Superdome as Derek Carr throws touchdown passes to Michael Thomas, Chris Olaf and Joanne Johnson to send the Bears home under .500 and lick their wounds.

Saints 30, Bears 16

Week 10: vs. Carolina Panthers (Thursday Night Football)

Al and Kirk return to Soldier Field for: Do You Have Any Regrets, sponsored by the Future Capital Project.

The Bears turned down the chance to draft Bryce Young, opting to stay with Justin Fields and trade the #1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers for Moore and a stack of draft picks.

Young may eventually become a star, but this Panthers team is not.

Yannick Ngakwe sacks Young twice, Keeler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker both have interceptions, and Moore hits his former team with as many as seven catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns.

Bears 28, Panthers 13

Week 11: Detroit Lions

Are lions real? We’ll find out.

Are they still better than bears? Undoubtedly.

David Montgomery rushes for 137 yards and two scores, Fields sack Aidan Hutchinson twice, and the Bears fumble at Ford Field again.

Lions 34, Bears 20

Week 12: at Minnesota (Monday Night Football)

Amidst a 2-4 stretch, the Bears need a win to stay afloat going into their bye week.

Getting Kirk Cousins ​​into prime time is the perfect elixir for a grueling Bears defense.

Cousins ​​throws three picks (Jackson, Gordon and Stephenson) while Fields throws 260 and rushes for another 80 in a convincing win.

Bears 30, Vikings 20

Week 13: Bye

Week 14: against the Detroit Lions

A win over the Lions in Week 14 could secure the Bears a record of at least . 500 in the division.

Not so fast.

Jahmyr Gibbs and Jameson Williams brute force the Bears defense as the Lions lead by 14 points at halftime.

But there is no quit in bears.

Fields hit Cole Kimmitt and Darnell Mooney for touchdowns in the second period to tie the game at 24.

However, Lions quarterback Jared Goff would return the serve by driving a seven-minute drive in the fourth quarter that ended with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Gibbs to regain the lead.

The Bears offense gets the ball with one last chance to tie the game and send it to overtime. A big hit by DJ Moore puts the Bears in the red, but Jack Campbell singles Fields in the end zone to end the comeback bid.

Lions 31, Bears 24

Week 15: At Cleveland Browns

Justin Fields’ first career start quickly turned into a nightmare two years ago in Cleveland. Fields has been sacked nine times as coach Matt Nagy failed to adjust his game plan to keep the rookie quarterback upright.

The Bears’ offensive line, whatever it looks like in Week 15, isn’t doing much better this time around.

Miles Jarrett and Zadarius Smith combined for five sacks, Nick Chubb running for 200 yards and the Browns handling the Bears.

Browns 30, Bears 20

Week 16: Against the Cardinals

Will new boss Jonathan Gannon have the fire in his stomach to play Killer Murray and risk ruining his chance at Caleb Williams? I doubt it.

Roshawn Johnson rushes for 105 yards, Fields throws three touchdown passes (Kmute, Mooney, Claypool) while the Bears catch a two-player slide.

Bears 27, Cardinals 13

Week 17: Against the Falcons

The Falcons are a modern pick to win the NFC South this season. I’m not sure I think so, but their younger offensive weapons and improved defense will make life difficult for the Bears on New Year’s Eve.

Bijan Robinson opens the game with a 75-yard touchdown run, and the back-and-forth affair begins.

Both offenses traded blows, and the game was tied at 27 midway through the fourth quarter.

On third and seventh from midfield, Jervon Dexter sprinted and fired a clean shot past Desmond Reader. But the Falcons’ young quarterback slipped free and found Drake London for a 33-yard gain.

Four plays later, Raider broke containment again, this time tackling Jack Sanborn before rushing into the end zone from 6 yards out to give Atlanta the lead.

Fields’ desperation kicked in from the Falcons’ 40-yard line as time expired to eliminate the Bears from playoff contention.

Falcons 34, Bears 27

Week 18: Green Bay Packers

Although the Bears were eliminated from contention in the playoffs, this game is getting a treat for Sunday night, as the Packers need a win to secure the division title over the Lions.

Juggling events is all the Bears have left, but Jordan Love is more intense this time around.

Love threw three touchdown passes, including a go-ahead hit by Romeo Dobbs with 1:11 remaining.

Fields hits Kmet and Mooney in big plays to get the Bears into Packers territory, but Robert Tonian drops a pass on fourth and sixth to end the game and the season.

Packers 27, Bears 24

Record expectation: 7-10

I can already hear everyone screaming, but that’s a 125 percent improvement over last season.

The Bears have to be more competitive, and I think they’re going to win the games they were going to lose last season. Fields would take a few steps forward as a passer, throwing for 3,400 yards and 25 touchdowns, but the offensive line would be a constant problem, and the defense would struggle to stop.

A quick start in the first five games is vital if the Bears are to have any hope of vying for a spot in the playoffs this fall.

A 3-2 record in the first five games should allow them to survive a tough midseason stretch that includes four road games in five weeks.

If the Bears don’t hold back during the middle part of the season, they’ll exit their bye week with a manageable stretch of games and a chance to sneak into the playoffs. But they would need the fields to be great, not good, for that to happen.

This list still has many shortcomings that would be hard to cover up.

A 7-10 record with a positive development from Fields is a win, but a Packers win in the division would make it a little less sweet.

Click here for the Under Center Podcast.

(tags for translation) Insider Bears

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