The Bears haven’t done themselves a ton of favors heading into next season.
After replacing Matt Nagy with defensive specialist head coach Matt Eberflus, losing Allen Robinson, and waiting until the third round draft a wide receiver, Justin Fields looks like he’s back to square one heading into next season. The first-round pick last year completed a hair under 59 percent of his passes last year, and the Bears were 2-8 with him at the helm. While Fields himself isn’t a core problem, he needs some help.
Defensively the Bears look to be in better shape. Chicago was sixth in the league last year in total defense, with star linebacker Roquan Smith leading the way. They bolstered that defense in the second round of the draft this year, picking up cornerback Kyle Gordon and safety Jaquan Brisker.
Here is a complete breakdown of the Bears’ 2022 schedule, including dates, start times and analysis for all 17 games.
Chicago Bears schedule 2022
The Bears schedule will be unveiled as part of the NFL’s schedule release on Thursday, May 12.
- Home: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Commanders, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans
- Away: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons
Six of the teams Chicago will face in 2022 reached the postseason in 2021: The Packers, Eagles, Bills, 49ers, Cowboys, and Patriots. The Bears will face the Eagles, Bills, and 49ers at home. The Cowboys and Patriots are on the road.
One of the most important tests for the Bears will be against Green Bay. The Packers have had the Bears’ number in recent seasons, and Fields and the Bears will try to buck that trend.
Bears strength of schedule
The Bears finished second to last in the NFC North last year, meaning they have a third-place schedule this season. At 6-11 last year, they’ll have their work cut out for them. While they get the Falcons out of the NFC South, the 49ers in the NFC North is a rough draw. If things play out like they’ve been heading, however, we may see a Justin Fields vs. Trey Lance matchup at Soldier Field.
Toughest Tests: The 49ers being the No. 3 team in the NFC West last year is going to be a formidable opponent, but the Packers remain the biggest bugaboo on the Chicago schedule. With Aaron Rodgers locked down in Green Bay, the Bears have to find a way to beat the best if they have aspirations of being the best. The Bills and Patriots out of the AFC East could also pose problems for Chicago.
Biggest Breaks: The biggest break for the Bears is getting the Texans as their interconference opponent, and at home no less. In addition to playing Buffalo and New England out of the East, the division is top-heavy. The Dolphins and Jets should be beatable opponents for the Bears, as the Dolphins also have a new head coach and the Jets are in the same phase of the rebuild as the Bears are.
On top of this, within the NFC they drew the NFC East, which has been horrendous the past few seasons. While it’s entirely possibly the division is on the upswing, only the Cowboys seems like a particularly difficult opponent there — and even that is by default.
Bottom Line: The Bears aren’t where they want to be, and they didn’t do much to help Justin Fields this offseason. That means this team can’t simply go where he goes — he has to get some support. Chicago doesn’t have a brutally difficult schedule this year, but it will have to exceed expectations itself to capitalize on it. Expect growth from the Bears under Eberflus, but this won’t suddenly become a team of world-beaters.
Record Prediction: 8-9