Jim Dabrowski

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2022 Season Review and 2023 Predictions

Been wanting to write this post for a while, finally getting around to it. Let's review what I thought would happen with the Bears in 2022 and how I think 2023 will play out.

Past Season Predictions

I predicted the Bears would go 8-9 or 9-8 and that 2-3 of their wins would be due to Justin Fields putting the team on his back and willing them to a win. Boy was I wrong on that. They started the season 3-4 and I thought there was no way they weren't going to win at least a few more. And while Fields didn't quite single-handedly win games for them, it sure looked like it was trending in the right direction there for a bit.

Enough of the past, on to the future.

Free Agency

Everyone I hear talks about just how much money the Bears have to spend this off season and they're predicting some sort of wild spending spree. It's not gonna happen. Poles even said he is going to continue to be judicious and build a team meant for sustained success. Therefore, much to the dismay of many fans, I think we'll see the Bears sign a couple of bigger name free agents, but not do anything wild. I think the Bears are going to re-sign more of their own players than people expect, again much to the dismay of the fan base. I think Poles is going to spend much more closer to what he needs to get him below the cap minimum and will save much of that money for 2024 and beyond. If Fields is who we all seem to think he is, a lot of that will be spent on him in the not too distant future and Poles has to plan for that.

Draft Day

Like pretty much every other Bears fan, I don't see them trading Fields and I do see them trading down at least once (sell that #1 pick to the highest bidder) and likely multiple times. I think Poles is a draft-and-develop sort of GM—fits with his plans to build for continued success—and values having more draft picks over higher ones. This should make a lot of Bears fans happy - until he doesn't draft either Andersen or Carter at which time they'll go bat-shit crazy.

2023 Season

And now time for my way-too-early 2023 season prediction. I expect the Bears to be improved, but anyone thinking they're a playoff team or super bowl contender is fooling themselves. If they make the playoffs it will be one of those back-door entries where some fluke thing happens and they end up the last playoff team but are completely over-matched in their first game. The same sort of thing that happened in 2020 where they finished 8-8 and got in only because the NFL added an extra playoff team that year. I think we'll see an improved team. We'll be excited by what Justin Fields brings to the field and we'll see that if they continue to add more talent on both sides of the ball, the team is on an upward trajectory and that good things are ahead for them.

I think the future is bright for the Bears.