Saturday, November 4, 2023

Chicago Bears Week 9 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 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 9 roundup for the Chicago Bears in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 30

One week after earning his first career win, rookie Tyson Bagent completed 25 of 37 passes for 232 yards and two interceptions in a 30-13 loss to the Chargers. The backup quarterback with the inspiring Division II to NFL story has been playing in place of Justin Fields since the third quarter of Week 6. He'll continue to do so until Fields' dislocated thumb has healed to the point he can grip and throw a football, and the Bears maintain that their starting quarterback continues to show progress without needing surgery. Prior to the injury, Fields produced a mixed bag of results in his first six starts of 2023. He's still taking too many sacks (24, fifth most in the NFL) and has the fifth-highest interception percentage (3.7%), but he showed improvement against Denver and Washington before his injury. The Bears will want the rest of the season to evaluate Fields before deciding how to proceed with two potential top-five picks in the 2024 draft, but the quarterback needs to be healthy and able to function in games in order for that to happen. -- Courtney Cronin -- Rank: 29

One thing you can't do is blame Tyson Bagent for Sunday's loss. You could see his wheels spinning a bit out there as the Chargers' pass rush bore down on him, but the kid held up well. He's not the problem. There is more than one of those, but let's start with the pass rush on the Bears' side. I've mentioned it once or twice, but this group just isn't getting it done. Justin Herbert had been under fire in recent games, but on Sunday, he was sitting back in a rocking chair throwing darts. Only one Bear (T.J. Edwards) even got a mitt on Herbert, who threw 40 passes. There were other things, too. But if I am general manager Ryan Poles, I am scheming every way I can to add two impact rushers next offseason.

UPDATE: On Tuesday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Bears are making a move to immediately upgrade their pass rush, sending a second-round pick to the Commanders in exchange for DE Montez Sweat.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 28

Tyson Bagent can do some good things, but they need Justin Fields back. Bagent looked ordinary against the Chargers. The defense was awful against Justin Herbert.

USA Today -- Rank: 29

Among Chicago's many issues, its 10 sacks are the fewest in the league. The Bears had an NFL-low 20 in 2022.

The Athletic -- Rank: 31

Something scary (for them): The quarterback decision-making

Tyson Bagent is a great story, but how can the Bears go into the season with an undrafted rookie from Division II college football as the only option behind Justin Fields, who plays a style that makes him vulnerable to missing time? Fields, who missed Sunday's game with a thumb injury, has already been ruled out for this week. The Bears need him back. Bagent threw two interceptions and had a passer rating of 62 against the Chargers.

FOX -- Rank: 28

Maybe this sounds harsh, but this loss is probably in the Bears' best interest. For better or for worse, they need to evaluate Justin Fields — and it becomes hard to do that if Tyson Bagent spurs them on a surprising win streak. Losing to the Chargers makes it easier to transition back to Fields when he's ready.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 29

Sunday wasn't great for the Bears. They lost at the Chargers, the type of blowout loss that let everyone know Chicago still has a lot of work to do. Even worse, Carolina won. Arizona now would hold the first pick of the 2024 NFL Draft if the season ended today. For the rest of the season, the results of the Panthers' games might be more important to the Bears than what happens in their own games.

PFT -- Rank: 28

The Bears weren't ready for prime time.

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