We’re over halfway to the regular season finale, and in an interesting twist, the Minnesota Vikings will end their season with the Chicago Bears. Well, it’s not that interesting since it seems like these two teams finish the season against each other pretty much every year, but this time it’s in Chicago, so that’s different, at least.
We’ve gotten the chance to exchange some questions with the folks from Windy City Gridiron, SB Nation’s home for everything about the Chicago Bears. Patti Curl has been kind enough to answer the questions I posed to them this week, and once she has the answers to the questions they sent me posted I will put them up here. For now, here are the questions I sent her and the answers she provided.
1) Now that the season is over, how do you feel about the Ryan Poles/Matt Eberflus era with the first year in the books?
It’s hard to feel good after 9 straight losses. I’m still hopeful that both will be the right guys for the Bears, but not as optimistic as I was at my peak. At times, Eberflus got some great play out of the cheapest roster in the NFL, and some of Poles’ moves have worked out. They’ve all at least made sense to me. It’s really going to come down to this off-season, when Poles will have more resources between cap room and draft capital than any GM in recent Bears history.
2) Justin Fields had a bit of a breakout season in 2022, though he still seems to have plenty of struggles as a passer. How much of that is on Fields and the people developing him as opposed to what he has to work with on offense?
That’s the million-dollar question. I’d say Fields has done as much as you can hope for with the offense around him. Last week was a clinic in receivers not separating and offensive linemen not blocking. It’s definitely limited his ability to develop, and he’s not where he needs to get to, but he has improved throughout the season and is better than the glorified running back narrative implies.
3) The Bears appear to be on track for one of the top two picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, pending this week’s results. With quarterback not being a need for Chicago, how do you see them using that high pick? Is there one “can’t miss” player that could impact the Bears immediately or do you think they’ll trade it to a quarterback-needy team?
I think there are two premiere non-QBs in Jalen Carter and Will Anderson. I would expect the Bears to look for a trade back partner, and if they don’t find a deal they like, they’ll be happy with one of those defenders.
4) Who is one player on each side of the ball you’d like to get a look at for the Bears in this season finale?
I’ll definitely be looking at Patrick Peterson and Garret Bradbury to see if they might be worth the Bears pursuing in free agency.
Oh, you meant Bears?
I guess I’ll go with 3rd round rookie receiver Velus Jones Jr. on offense and on defense, maybe Dominique Robinson can end the year with one more sack.
5) The line for this game from our friends at the DraftKings Sportsbook started out with the Vikings as a 1.5-point favorite but has since ballooned to Vikings -7 (as of Thursday morning). The Vikings have only won one of their 12 games by more than one score. Do you think the Nathan Peterman Experience™ can keep this one within one score?
I don’t think the Bears get an offensive touchdown with Nathan Peterman under center. So no, I don’t think the Bears keep it within a score.
Once again, a big thank you to Patti for taking the time to answer our questions for this week.