Saturday, September 10, 2022

Chicago Bears Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Chicago Bears in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 25

Who's on the hot seat: S Eddie Jackson

Given that Jackson was my bounce-back candidate, it makes sense that he also has the most to prove on the Bears' defense. He could see his time in Chicago dwindling if he has another interception-free season. The Bears drafted Jaquan Brisker to make Jackson more effective by allowing him to focus on playing free safety, so he'll have to lower that passer rating allowed when targeted (132.3) considerably this season. Chicago's front office has made no bones about the fact that it's overhauling the roster and bringing in young players as building blocks. If Jackson, 28, doesn't prove his value to this defense and the new coaching staff, the Bears could look to move him via a trade or designate him a post-June 1 cut in 2023 and save $13.1 million against the cap. -- Rank: 32

Has Justin Fields been set up to succeed? We didn't learn much about Fields in his rookie season, as a poor offensive game plan and injuries kept the talented first-round pick from making the big splash the organization had hoped for. Things remain murky ahead of his second season: The offense has some nice pieces in Darnell Mooney, David Montgomery and Cole Kmet, but the offensive line projects to be among football's worst, while the defense is a shell of its mighty former self. Perhaps Fields is truly special, allowing him to take a big leap and put the Bears on his back for four months. God knows Chicago could use some pro football excitement. But there's the unfortunately more-plausible scenario that, at this time next year, we're still asking when Fields will get a fair shot at this thing.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 30

Justin Fields faces big challenges in trying to take the next step as a second-year quarterback. They haven't exactly helped him a ton with what's around him.

The Athletic -- Rank: 31

The good news: There's real Justin Fields optimism after an impressive preseason showing. If Fields can cement himself as a starting-caliber quarterback this season, that's really all that matters.

The bad news: Man, is it going to be hard for Fields to do so given the talent around him. The offensive line is in transition, and the No. 2 wide receiver behind Darnell Mooney is either someone who wasn't able to look good with Mahomes as his quarterback (Byron Pringle) or someone who wasn't able to look good with Rodgers as his quarterback (Equanimeous St. Brown). Or maybe it's the 25-year-old rookie (Velus Jones Jr.). Yikes.

Nugget to remember: Fields is one of four Week 1 starting quarterbacks with a full-sentence name, joining Jalen Hurts, Davis Mills and Josh Allen.

The Ringer -- Rank: 29

The Bears didn't win a playoff game under Matt Nagy, and after a 6-11 season in 2021, Chicago decided to start over. Now the Bears press forward with first-year general manager Ryan Poles and rookie head coach Matt Eberflus, a duo charged with a long-term rebuild. They have a talented quarterback prospect in Justin Fields but I'd argue he's been put in an unfair situation in 2022. The Bears don't have question marks along the offensive line or in the receiving corps, they have flat-out problems, and the lack of talent in both of those units will make it very difficult for Poles and Eberflus to fairly evaluate Fields.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 29

Tight end Cole Kmet had a nice preseason. It would help the Bears offense immensely if he had a breakout season. They need someone other than Darnell Mooney to catch the ball.

PFT -- Rank: 30

They're tearing it down to build it up. It may take a while to build it up.

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