This article is part of our Team Previews series.
In the first season under coach Matt Eberflus and GM Ryan Poles in 2022, the Bears were rarely competitive. However, they potentially added three cornerstone pieces in last year's draft with CB Kyler Gordon, S Jaquan Brisker and OT Braxton Jones. After a terrible season, Chicago landed the first pick in the draft, which they used to acquire WR DJ Moore and more picks. If Justin Fields becomes a top QB and the 2023 draft class is solid, the Bears soon may close the gap with the rest of the NFC North.
2023 Chicago Bears Quarterback Room
- Veteran Additions: PJ Walker (from Panthers)
- Draft Picks: None
- Departures: Trevor Siemian (to Bengals), Tim Boyle (to Jets)
Justin Fields rushed for 1,143 yards last year, which was the second most ever for a QB, and it was only the fourth time a quarterback reached 1,000 yards. That level of production immediately puts him in the discussion as a top-end fantasy QB. Of course, throwing for 2,242 yards and 17 TDs wasn't inspiring. However, he never cracked 30 pass attempts in a game. And once Darnell Mooney suffered a season-ending ankle injury Week 12, the team had one of the worst WR rooms imaginable.
Fields will have an upgrade at wide receiver this year with newcomer DJ Moore, while Chase Claypool logs his first training camp with the Bears. Look for the team to unleash Fields as a true dual threat, which should include an increase in passing, with plenty of downfield shots. This may be the year that Chicago's brass can truly evaluate whether Fields is the franchise signal-caller they used the 11th pick on in the 2021 Draft. If Fields misses time, Walker, who has starting experience with Carolina, should be a competent backup.
2023 Chicago Bears Backfield
- Veteran Additions: D'Onta Foreman (from Panthers), Travis Homer (from Seahawks)
- Draft Picks: Roschon Johnson (Rd. 4, No. 115 – Texas)
- Departures: David Montgomery (to Lions), Darrynton Evans (FA)
With Montgomery off to Detroit, Khalil Herbert is the main holdover in the Bears backfield. Although Herbert rushed for 5.7 YPC last season, the team didn't give him more than 10 carries in any of his last five appearances. After adding Foreman in free agency and Johnson in the draft, it seems as if the Bears prefer having a bigger early-down RB with Herbert in a secondary role. Foreman handled lead jobs for parts of the last two years between the Titans and Panthers, averaging 4.4 YPC. At 6-0, 235, he's a rugged inside runner who should be the favorite to dominate early-down and goal-line work.
After drafting Johnson, the team talked about his intangibles, special-teams prowess and pass-protection ability, so it's possible that Johnson and Herbert compete for the No. 2 spot. As the more explosive player, Herbert would appear to be a better complement to the bruising Foreman, and Herbert should enter camp ahead of Johnson. Further down the depth chart, Homer was a solid receiving back with the Seahawks. Both Homer and Trestan Ebner could vie for occasional snaps as pass catchers.
2023 Chicago Bears Receiving Corps
- Veteran Additions: WR DJ Moore (from Panthers); TE Robert Tonyan (from Packers)
- Draft Picks: WR Tyler Scott (Rd. 4, No. 133 – Cincinnati)
- Departures: WRs N'Keal Harry (FA), Bryon Pringle (FA); TEs Trevon Wesco (to Titans), Ryan Griffin (FA)
Coming off a 1,000-yard 2021 season, Darnell Mooney had a 4-27-0 receiving line through the first three games of 2022 as Chicago's offense had no identity. As the unit started to improve, he posted 50-plus yards in six of the next seven contests. However, he was lost to an ankle injury Week 12, after which the WR group was one of the worst in the league. Things should be better this year.
Moore, who posted at least 1,150 yards in three of the past four seasons despite weak QB play in Carolina, will give the Bears a true alpha. He can win at all levels of the field and also is excellent after the catch. Mooney, who not only has great speed, has succeeded when asked to run the full route tree, making him a plus second option. The team also intends to get a physical presence from Chase Claypool. After acquiring him from the Steelers before Week 9 last season, he should benefit from a full offseason in the offense.
After that trio, Scott, Equanimeous St. Brown and Velus Jones should enter camp as the top rotational receivers. At tight end, Cole Kmet has averaged 578 yards and 3.5 TDs annually the past two years and is the clear No. 1. Any sort of absence for Kmet would thrust Tonyan into a larger role.
2023 Chicago Bears Sleepers
⬆️ Sleeper: D'Onta Foreman
Foreman's ADP has been sitting outside the top-40 RBs. Meanwhile, David Montgomery was a top-24 fantasy RB last year. If Khalil Herbert was unable to overtake Montgomery for the lead role, it's unlikely he'll take it from Foreman, who had a significantly higher YPC than Montgomery's 3.9 the last two seasons. Foreman posted at least 100 rushing yards in eight of the last 17 games when he was the lead back between 2021 and 2022. Behind a solid run-blocking O-line, Foreman could be a steal in drafts.
😴 Super Sleeper: Chase Claypool
After posting 451 yards and one TD in 15 games last year, Claypool's stock has fallen significantly. The Bears traded a second-round pick to get him, so they have motivation to get him targets. Although he did little with Chicago in eight games, he won't have to learn the offense during training camp. His 6-4 frame could be a great complement to DJ Moore and Darnell Mooney. Plus, Claypool averaged 60.5 catches, 866.5 yards and 6.5 TDs in 2020-2021. If he lands the No. 3 role, he could outperform his ADP.
2023 Chicago Bears Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Matt Eberflus (Year 2)
Offensive Coordinator: Luke Getsy (Year 2) – West Coast offense
Defensive Coordinator: Alan Williams (Year 2) – 4-3 scheme
2023 Chicago Bears Depth Chart
Kicker: Cairo Santos
Stats to Know for the Chicago Bears
2022 Record: 3-14
2022 Points Scored: 326 (23rd)
2022 Points Allowed: 463 (32nd)
2022 Point Differential: -137 (31st)
2022 Run-Play Rate: 56.2 percent (1st)
2022 Offensive Snaps: 993 (30th)
2022 PFF O-Line Ranking: No. 14
2023 Chicago Bears Schedule
|1||Sep 10||Green Bay Packers||4:25 PM|
|2||Sep 17||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1:00 PM|
|3||Sep 24||at Kansas City Chiefs||4:25 PM|
|4||Oct 1||Denver Broncos||1:00 PM|
|5||Oct 5||at Washington Commanders||8:15 PM|
|6||Oct 15||Minnesota Vikings||1:00 PM|
|7||Oct 22||Las Vegas Raiders||1:00 PM|
|8||Oct 29||at Los Angeles Chargers||8:20 PM|
|9||Nov 5||at New Orleans Saints||1:00 PM|
|10||Nov 9||Carolina Panthers||8:15 PM|
|11||Nov 19||at Detroit Lions||1:00 PM|
|12||Nov 27||at Minnesota Vikings||8:15 PM|
|14||Dec 10||Detroit Lions||1:00 PM|
|15||TBD||at Cleveland Browns||TBD|
|16||Dec 24||Arizona Cardinals||4:25 PM|
|17||Dec 31||Atlanta Falcons||1:00 PM|
|18||TBD||at Green Bay Packers||TBD|
Chicago Bears Odds To Win Super Bowl LVIII
- Bears Super Bowl 58 Odds: 50-1
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 11:00 PM ET on July 25, 2023.