The 2022 NFL preseason is rapidly approaching, with team practices growing more intense by the day. Coming off an offseason for the ages that changed not only the complexion of individual teams but the AFC and NFC as a whole. Many things will look quite different from a season ago. It’s the perfect time for the fourth annual edition of Three Burning Questions. As in years past, this 32-part series will look at the three most pressing questions facing each of the 32 teams. Here are the Three Burning Questions for the Chicago Bears.
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What Can the Castoff Wide Receives Do?
After Allen Robinson took his talent to Los Angeles to join the defending Super Bowl Champion Rams, the Bears spent the offseason stacking the receiver depth chart to replace him. Former Kansas City Chiefs Byron Pringle, former San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants Dante Pettis, former Green Bay Packers Equanimeous St. Brown, and journeyman wideout Tajae Sharpe were added through free agency. Recently the team acquired New England Patriots N’Keal Harry, the 2019 first-round pick via trade. A trade the receiver had all but been begging for. For quarterback Justin Fields this patched-together veteran pass-catching crew and the new coaching staff led by head coach Matt Eberflus, this season could be a very long trying one offensively.
Will he Prove He’s the Guy?
Speaking of Fields, the eleventh overall pick in last year’s draft, had a rocky rookie campaign. A season where he was slated to be Andy Dalton‘s backup, saw Fields forced into early action. He posted a 2-8 record as the starter. He showed glimpses of what he can do. Fields didn’t do it with much consistency but that can’t be entirely placed on his shoulders. With the new coaching staff, hopefully, they will tailor the offense to the skill set he showcased at Ohio State, which is what the franchise is hoping for.
What Are the Realistic Expectations for the Team?
After a 6-11 season where the Bears finished third in the NFC North division, optimism has to be high for one of the NFL’s storied franchises and its fans. Defensively last season they were ranked sixth in total yards given up. If the offense can manage to score just a few more points with Fields at the helm and running backs David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert can both stay healthy, the time of possession will favor the Bears and their defense. Their record will be closer to the .500 mark in 2022. They are likely at least one more season from being realistic contenders in the division.
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