The Chicago Bears finished last season with the worst record in the NFL at 3-14. However, this record doesn’t completely tell the story of this organization. 

Seven of the team’s losses were in one-possession games that could have gone either way. Some games were dumpster fires, but some games showed why this young team is on the rise.

The big story of last season for the Bears was their quarterback, Justin Fields. After a shaky rookie year, the spotlight was on both Fields and new head coach Matt Eberflus to see how Fields would develop during his sophomore season. 

Throughout the season, Fields showcased his dual-threat ability. His passing stats don’t jump off the page, but his 70+ rushing yards in eight of the team’s games were the real showstopper. Besides (maybe) Lamar Jackson, Fields was the most efficient QB on the ground in the league. Fields wasn’t even a bad passer; he just didn’t need to throw the ball to gain yards. With another entire off-season to work, Fields will continue to develop and grow as a passer, along with having his legs as a weapon. He is the Bears’ franchise QB.

The biggest issues for Chicago last year came at, well, every other position. The offensive line was atrocious, and despite Fields’ ability to scramble, he was the most sacked QB in the league. The defense wasn’t any better. They gave up the fourth-most yards in the league. No matter how many points this high-powered offense would score, the defense couldn’t stop anybody.

This year, the Bears are on the rise. They have money, and they’re spending it.

General Manager Ryan Poles has been upgrading this defense, especially at linebacker. Chicago signed former Eagles’ LB T.J. Edwards for three years and $19.5 million, along with throwing the bag at former Bills’ LB Tremaine Edmunds. Edmunds was signed on a four-year, $72 million contract that will certainly help this defense fill a hole at a position they needed. Additionally, they added DE DeMarcus Walker, who can play at multiple positions on the defensive line. He’ll help them stop the run, which Chicago struggled with last season. In the secondary, the Bears have a young playmaker in Jaquan Brisker, along with an underrated cornerback in Jaylon Johnson. They could continue to upgrade the secondary through the draft, but this defense will already be much better than they were last year.

Offensively, the Chicago Bears will be much better as well. They traded the first-overall pick to the Carolina Panthers and, along with a ton of draft capital, received WR D.J. Moore. We’ve seen what a true WR1 can do for a developing QB, such as the Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown connection or Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. Moore takes a lot of pressure off WRs Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool, meaning they can be much more productive as well. Justin Fields’ passing ability will be enhanced with Moore in this offense, and Mooney and Claypool will be a more-than-solid supporting cast. Additionally, they acquired former Packers’ TE Robert Tonyan. Tonyan will be a good TE to pair with Cole Kmet, whom Fields already has chemistry with. 

The biggest concern for Chicago will be the offensive line. The Bears haven’t made any significant changes to protect Justin Fields, but this will most definitely be an area they address in the draft, most likely in the first round. Chicago now owns the ninth overall selection in this year’s draft and will most likely use that pick to select an offensive lineman. Which one they choose has obviously yet to be determined, but any help is good help for the Bears right now.

The NFC North will be a competitive division in 2023. The Lions are on the rise and showed what a rebuild can do, the Vikings will remain a solid team, and nobody should be counting the Packers out with Jordan Love. The Bears, however, are rebuilding at a rapid pace. There’s more than enough talent to win games and allow the Bears to be competing in this division next season.

Watch out for the Chicago Bears in 2023.