NFL Network Analyst Predicts 12-5 Season for Bears originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
There are reasons to be optimistic for the Bears this year. Justin Fields has gotten off to the best start of him on a summer show in his sophomore year with Luke Getsy. Fields also doesn’t seem to have had any trouble getting into the groove with new No. 1 DJ Moore. An influx of offensive line talent should help keep Fields on his feet more often.
Add it all up, and many understandably expect the Bears to emerge from the NFL basement in 2023. Taking a look at the big picture, just four more games this year would be a big improvement and set the team up for a postseason push in 2024. However, NFL Network analyst and prominent Bears fan Adam Rank believes the Bears will put their rebuild into hyperdrive. In a video posted Saturday, Rank predicted the Bears would go 12-5 this season.
Rank’s impressive campaign for the Bears gets off to a fast start against the Packers and Buccaneers.
“You think I’m going to pick the Bears to lose Week 1 to the Packers without Aaron Rodgers?” Rank said. “No way.”
It has the Bears losing their first game of the year in Week 3 at Arrowhead Stadium.
“Matt Nagy, offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs? No, I have to be somewhat realistic here.”
That loss must have been a close battle that gave the Bears confidence, because in Rank’s world it sparked a four-game winning streak. After the loss to the Chiefs, Rank has the Bears beating the Broncos, Commanders, Vikings and Raiders. The Bears face a bit of a setback in Weeks 8 and 9, when they lose two road games to the Chargers and Saints. Rank then gets the team back on track on Thursday Night Football with a win over the Panthers. The Bears then use the overtime to help them travel to Detroit for another big division win.
“I know everyone loves the Lions this year, but give me a win there.”
The Bears’ dreams of going undefeated in the NFC North die in Week 12, where Rank notched a loss to the Vikings in Minnesota. The bye week doesn’t help Rank’s world, and the Bears lose another game to the Lions at home in Week 14.
That puts the Bears at 8-5 going into the fourth quarter of the season. If that’s the case, they’ll be firmly in the playoff hunt, and Rank believes they’ll reach the postseason with four straight wins.
“Matt Eberflus knows what to do to handle DeShaun Watson (in a win against the Browns). Oh this works perfectly. Beat the Cardinals, beat the Falcons, which I actually think are going to be very good, and close it out.ー Yeah, highlight that!ー that’s a win at Lambeau.”
If things work out in real life as they did in Rank’s prediction, then we’re probably talking postseason payouts for guys like Fields and Eberflus. Realistically, a change of that caliber would require massive improvements across the entire roster, not just Fields and the offense. Rank acknowledges that his predictions might not be exactly accurate either.
“It could be very biased. It could be very one-sided. But I have the Bears with 12 wins this year. I i i.”
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