Chicago Bears 2022 Preview – Hidden Layer Betting

2021 Record: 6-11 3rd NFC North

2022 Win Total: 6 wins

Over 6 -105

Under 6 -125

Notable Stats:

Yards Per play: 27th 4.9

Yards per pass attempt: 24th 6.7

Offensive QB Sack percentage: 32nd 9.67%

Yards per run:  20th 4.2

3rd down conversion rate: 32nd 34.72%

Turnover Margin: 29th -0.8

Yards Per Play allowed: 15th 5.3

Yards per pass attempt allowed: 22nd 6.8

Yards allowed per rush: 19th 4.4

Defensive QB sack rate: 1st 9.32%

Notable losses:  Khalil Mack LB, Allen Robinson WR, Marquise Goodwin WR, Jimmy Graham TE, Damiere Byrd WR, Andy Dalton QB, Nick Foles QB, Matt Nagy HC, Ryan Pace GM, Akeim Hicks DT

Notable additions: Matt Eberflus HC, Byron Pringle WR, Trevor Siemian QB, Equanimeous St. Brown WR, N’Keal Harry WR, Tajae Sharpe WR, Dante Pettis WR, James O’Shaughnessy TE, Lucas Patrick C, Riley Reiff RT, Alan Williams DC, Al-quadin Muhammad

1st Round Draft Pick(s): N/A

Strength of schedule: 4th (1 Easiest, 32 Hardest)

2021 Review:

The Bears began their rebuild last season and they weren’t even trying. With the NFLs worst QB sack rate, the Bears made a habit of rotating quarterbacks and switched signal callers five times throughout the season. Fields had a subpar performance throwing for ten interceptions to just 7 touchdowns throughout the season. Fields yards per attempt came in at 6.9 which barely eclipsed Andy Dalton at 6.4. Fields also had the lowest passer rating among the three QBs Chicago used. The abysmal record and more importantly the lack of a competent game plan led to the firing of both head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace. 

Offensive Outlook: 

The Bears turned over a significant amount of players in the offseason. Two quarterbacks, three receivers, and a tight end will not be playing for Chicago this season. Instead Justin Fields is easily QB1, and his receivers are a mixed bag of players on their 3rd or more team. He will have to lean heavily on WR1 Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet to improve his passing game numbers. What would help the 2nd year quarterback is a solid ground game to take attention off of his legs. Unfortunately for Fields the offensive line may have more question marks than the rest of the unit. Only left guard Cody Whitehair has more than one year of experience with the Bears on the entire offensive line. Given this line was dead last in QB sack percentage, I can see why the Bears elected to overhaul it. Center Lucas Patrick and right tackle Riley Reiff will hopefully provide veteran experience for rookie right guard Willie Wright and 2nd year left tackle Teven Jenkins. I would hope that the Bears coaching staff recognized this lack of chemistry as a potential issue, and planned accordingly. 

Defensive Outlook:

The Bears have some work to do on defense as most of their performances in 2021 fell at league average. It doesn’t help that they lost Khalil Mack and Akeim Hicks in the offseason. Mack and Hicks combined for 9.5 sacks but only played 16 games between the two of them. When you look at their numbers from a per game standpoint, the Bears are losing their 2nd and 4th best pass rushers. Perhaps the additions of Al-Quadin Muhammad and Justin Jones can fill the void. Muhammad and Jones recorded six and three sacks last season respectively. In the secondary the Bears will have just one player that has played more than two seasons. Rookie Jaquan Brisker, and 3rd year cornerbacks Jaylon Johnson and Duke Shelley will have to provide valuable snaps if the Bears are to get to league average in yards allowed per pass attempt. Overall I’m confident that better coaching can make up for the loss of a few key pieces and potentially even elevate this unit. 

Season Prediction:

With so many new and fresh faces around this team I’m concerned that there will be a lack of chemistry throughout the locker room. If Fields performs how he did last season, the Bears may compete for the 3rd or 4th worst team in the league. What saves them is the 4th easiest strength of schedule in the NFL. They have the following games that they will either be favored in or short underdogs: Texans, Giants-away, Lions, Jets-away, Falcons -away, Lions – away. Assuming they win 4 of those, you’d only need a few unexpected victories to at least push on your over bet. At -105, I like betting over 6 wins and trusting this new coaching staff to have this team better prepared in 2022. 

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Author: Calvin Stewart