The Chicago Bears have certain expectations coming into the 2023 season.
Double-digit wins are exceeding any hopes for this season.
That means Justin Fields is slinging the ball all over the field (no play on words intended) at an MVP level. D.J. Moore, Chase Claypool, Darnell Mooney, and Cole Kmet are making big plays in the passing game.
The running game is still the best in the league and the offense is putting up points every week. Plus, the offensive line is holding its own.
The defense is pressuring the quarterback thanks to Yannick Ngakoue and DeMarcus Walker while also playing solidly enough up the middle to not get the ball run down its throat.
Eddie Jackson and Tyrique Stevenson are picking off passes and the back seven of the defense is playing up to its immense potential.
The team is relatively healthy throughout the season. It also means the Chicago Bears pick up at least three surprise victories and only lose the games they are supposed to be defeated in.
Seven to nine wins meet expectations.
Fields is taking a step in the passing game, but it is more moderate. The offensive line has problems, but nowhere near the issues the group had last year.
Moore makes plays but there are games where Claypool is non-existent and Mooney looks like he is still recovering from his ankle injury.
The offense has games where it looks great but still has games where the unit struggles to score. There are also weeks where the offense puts up points but not enough because the defense still cannot stop the opponent from scoring.
Also, the Bears have some injury issues but it is not enough to prevent them from winning some games.
Seven wins seems more likely although the Chicago Bears could get eight or nine W’s by getting two surprise victories.
Although the only way seven to nine wins would be a disappointment is if Fields does not take the next step forward as a passer.
This franchise needs a clear answer on whether Justin is the franchise quarterback. If the team does not get that evidence, it is another offseason where the team is in limbo about what to do at quarterback.
Six or less victories will be a huge disappointment.
Any improvement over three favorable results is better than nothing. Still, the moves made in the offseason should be enough to have this franchise improve by four wins.
11 losses or more would feel like the team still has not made enough improvement to be hopeful that the Chicago Bears could be a contender in 2024 and beyond.
Also losing more than 10 games means Justin Fields has not progressed in the passing. At least the team gets an answer on their quarterback’s future and can try to move on.
At the same time, if the Bears lose 11 games or more, it might mean Justin has missed significant time with injuries.
In addition, this outcome is probably a result of a team decimated by injuries. The offensive and defensive line continues to be awful.
It is a repeat of 2022 except no grace should be given as everyone accepted the defeats because it got the No. 1 overall pick. This season is supposed to be about getting a top-five pick because the Carolina Panthers are awful, not the Bears.
Plus, asking Bears fans to sit through another awful season means general manager Ryan Poles’ roster upgrades failed. Then we have a new set of concerns with the general manager.