Bears Have Alarming ‘Weakness’ Compared to Other NFC Teams

Justin Fields

Getty Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears calls the signals against the Cincinnati Bengals at Soldier Field.

The Chicago Bears have been predicted by multiple NFL analysts to have one of the worst rosters in the league this coming season.

Monday Night Football’s Louis Riddick said on ESPN’s “Get Up” on June 16 that he expected the Bears to be the worst team in the NFL in 2022 and Seth Walder of ESPN has the Bears ranked dead last in his annual predictive Football Power Index, essentially rating them the worst squad out of all 32 teams.

Now, in his analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of all 16 NFC teams, Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus has leveled further criticism at Chicago and its roster.

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Bears’ Biggest Strength, Per Monson: Running Back

The Bears have a first-year general manager (Ryan Poles) and head coach (Matt Eberflus) who inherited a limited salary cap and minimal draft capital from the previous regime, and as a result, the team has had one of the most quiet offseasons of all 32 NFL teams. Poles has eschewed big-name talent and long-term deals in favor of cheaper one-year contracts given to medium-tier players with the hope one or two will elevate their respective games.

The result has been a roster that has gotten very little respect from analysts across the league.

Even when listing the team’s lone strength, Monson sounded a bit grudging in his compliments, although he did single out running backs David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert.

“There isn’t much in the way of strengths, but their backfield has some real playmakers,” Monson wrote on July 6. “David Montgomery may have averaged only 3.8 yards per carry last season, but 2.5 of that came after contact. He has broken 139 tackles in three seasons. Khalil Herbert had an extremely good PFF rushing grade of 84.4 in his rookie season, averaging 2.8 yards after contact. The offensive line might not let them shine, but Chicago’s running backs are strengths of this roster.”

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‘Position Groups Are a Mess’ for Bears, Monson Says

Monson listed Chicago’s biggest weakness as “everything else.” The Seattle Seahawks were the only other NFC squad with a roster deemed bad enough to warrant that kind of criticism. That the Bears were one of two teams singled out as having rosters that glaringly bad is a tad unsettling heading into training camp.

Monson also expressed concern about what this could mean for 23-year-old quarterback Justin Fields.

“Pretty much everything else on the roster is a weakness,” Monson added. “You could make an argument for individual players, but position groups as a whole are a mess. The Bears ranked No. 30 on PFF’s roster rankings, and that doesn’t bode well for the prospects of Justin Fields in his sophomore season.”

The Bears quarterback is entering his second season, and many, including Riddick and Monson, have predicted Fields will suffer as a result of Chicago’s lackluster roster, but the Bears QB thinks he and his teammates will be just fine.

“The players we have right now are good enough,” Fields told Bleacher Report in May, adding:

“The front office thinks that, too. The fans outside of the facility, they don’t know what’s going on at practice. Just because we don’t have a big-name guy, doesn’t mean those guys aren’t talented. I have plenty of confidence in myself and my teammates that we’re going to get the job done.”

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