Bears Who Improved the Most in 2022 (2023)

Unlike in baseball or basketball, a football player's individual output can't always be traced by a stat line.

It's true with the offensive line and even to an extent at other offensive positions because one of the most critical aspects of the sport is very subjective—blocking.

Blocking is difficult to assess but websites like Pro Football Focus make an attempt.

It's here where some of the better play for the Bears occurred over the 2022 season.

The Bears had improvement in 2022 even if it didn't always show up in stats and definitely didn't show in their win total. Here were the most improved Bears players.

7. CB Kindle Vildor

Despite some apparent improvement, he didn't really appear to secure a job for 2023 because some of the younger undrafted players who came into the lineup after hie suffered a season-nding finger injury played at least as well. Despite missing six games he had career highs of five pass defenses, 3.1 tackles per game and made his first career interception. He also lowered his passer rating against when targeted to a career-best 110.1 and completion percentage allowed to a career-best 65.8%. Both of those figures looked much better until his final two games.

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6. C Sam Mustipher

Often a scapegoat for fans on social media thanks to a couple of bad plays on highlight clips, Mustipher improved greatly as a run blocker according to Pro Football Focus' grading. He had not been a favorite of theirs the first two years he made starts but in 2022 raised his overall grade by 12.4 points to 63.4 and was ranked 17th in the league. His run blocking grade went from 46.4 to 63.4, which was 18th in the league.

Mustipher allowed two sacks and had four penalties. They needed him to succeed because Lucas Patrick didn't work out as they had hoped due to injuries.

Now the question is how far his success went, because he's a restricted free agent who was undrafted. That means he's basically unrestricted because his year wasn't so good that the Bears would be likely to tender him an offer that would require teams to pay them draft pick compensation, especially when they also have Patrick and rookie Doug Kramer under contract.

5. RB Khalil Herbert

His 5.7 yards per carry led the NFL for running backs who had a qualifying number of carries.

Yet, he only carried 129 times, 26 more than last year, because of injury. After 731 yards on only 129 carries, it's valid to wonder if he could be a lead back and what he'd do with about 200 carries. However, it must be pointed out much of his success occurred when Justin Fields was running well and he was benefiting from defenses focusing on the quarterback when they used RPOs.

As a receiver, Herbert remained downright bad. Pro Football Focus graded him ahead of only seven other backs as a receiver out of the 60 they scored. He did improve as a pass blocker, though, and only 28 backs rated better doing this than he did.

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4. G Teven Jenkins

Taking on a new position and succeeding with trade rumors in the air showed how much resolve Jenkins had. It would appear he has earned his spot at right guard going forward. At least according to PFF grades, he did plenty to show he could handle guard instead of tackle.

"We have a lot of cap space and a lot of opportunities in this draft, so I really don’t know how it's gonna go," Jenkins said. "I don't ever wanna be the person that says, 'yeah, I have a spot.' I always want to stay hungry and feel like I still have to chase my job even if I have it secured."

Chris Lindstrom of the Falcons and Joel Bitonio of the Browns were the only two guards in the entire league who received overall PFF blocking grades better than Jenkins, who was also graded as the third-best run blocker at his position in the NFL.

While his grades look high, he also had the fewest plays on offense of the top 13 guards who were graded. So he still needs to prove he can play without injuries and at a high level.

3. TE Cole Kmet

After going 31 straight games without a touchdown catch, Kmet came up with a team-high seven and stepped up when other receivers were stepping away or out. With no other tight ends delivering and with Darnell Mooney out injured, Kmet had enough production to lead the team with 50 receptions and with 286 yards after the catch. He averaged 10.9 yards per reception. By making 72.5% catches on targets he ranked second among the top 11 pass catchers at tight end. While his overall numbers dropped from last year, he was making more impact receptions. Last year his totals got padded by a number of catches in games with the Bears in catch-up mode. But more than his receiver, Kmet improved as a blocker.

PFF graded him the ninth best run blocker among all tight ends.

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"When I look at like myself on tape, just like the steps I've been taking in the run game, pass game, all those things, my focus every week has been just getting a little bit better at something each and every day," Kmet said. "And when you do that and you’re able to stack days like that, you look back to Week 1 and you look back to OTAs, you can really see those steps and how you've grown throughout the course of the season."

2. QB Justin Fields

Fields improved in virtually every way over his rookie year and in some ways numbers can't measure.

"Man, I'm very impressed with his resiliency and his grit and how he fights, how he works," coach Matt Eberflus said. "He really is able to take a great play and also a play that wasn't too good and move to the next one. That's a great quality to have as a leader.

"I saw him really come out of his shell a little bit. The first couple games you saw him come out, as soon as he started to perform and make these plays that he is capable of, you really started to see his leadership grow during that time. That's what really was most impressive."

Fields doubled his touchdown percentage from 2.6 to 5.3, had 17 TDs to seven last year, lowered his interception percentag to 3.5%, improved his passing accuracy from 58.9% to 60.4%, was better in yards per attempt at 7.1 after 6.9 las tyear and his quarterback rating climbed to 85.2 from 73.2.

The thing he couldn't do was improve the team's win total, but he did improve as a rusher, as well. The skills he displayed as a breakaway running threat were rarely apparent as a rookie when he had 420 yards on 72 rushes. Threatening the quarterback rushing record with 1,143 yards on 160 runs put him ahead of anything Michael Vick ever did as a runner and behind only Lamar Jackson. His 178-yard day against Miami is the NFL record.

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Fields still needs improvement as a short or intermediat passer.

"I've always said this—his deep ball passing has always been good," Eberflus said. "He's always thrown those very well. The intermediate passing is getting better, his pocket presence is getting better."

1. S Eddie Jackson

No player showed more dramatic improvement to an elite level of play than their two-time Pro Bowl safety. With four interceptions, he was well on his way to a third Pro Bowl berth and first since 2019 when he suffered a season-ending foot injury with five games to go.

Jackson had the lowest completion percentage allowed (61.8) that he's had since 2019, and dropped his passer rating against when targeted to 66.4, also his lowest since 2019. His passer rating against in 2021 had been a career-worst 143.6 and he allowed as many touchdown passes that year (6) as he has in all the other four years he played put together.

In 2022 he dropped the TDs allowed from six to one. Jackson also was hitting. He had 80 tackles through 12 games. At that pace he'd have gone well over 100 tackles. He finished only two from a career best despite missing the last five games.

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FAQs

Who did the Bears Release 2022? ›

Roster Move: Bears release QB Nick Foles

The veteran quarterback appeared in 10 games with eight starts in two seasons in Chicago, passing for 2,102 yards with 11 touchdowns, eight interceptions and an 82.6 rating.

Did the Bears make the playoffs in 2022? ›

No, the Bears didn't make the Playoffs in 2022.

Who is the best bear of all time? ›

Walter Payton

Sweetness. Walter Payton's legendary career leaves him with a reputation as the greatest Bear—and one of the greatest players ever in professional football. Payton played 13 years in the NFL and ran for over 1,000 yards in 10 of those seasons.

Who is the best QB in Bears history? ›

Sid Luckman (1939 — 1950)

Luckman to this day is the best Quarterback, hands down, of All-Time for the Chicago Bears. That's an incredible feat for a Quarterback that played 70 years ago. He put up gaudy stats and numbers for his time. Luckman's numbers in today's NFL, 70 years later would be astounding.

Who did Chicago Bears pick up? ›

Signed WR Dazz Newsome to the active roster. Placed QB Justin Fields on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Placed WR Jakeen Grant on injured reserve. Signed LB John Daka to the practice squad.

What new players did the Bears get? ›

Signed TE Chase Allen, DB Adrian Colbert, LB Kuony Deng, OL Kellen Diesch, DL Gerri Green, TE Jake Tonges and WR Nsimba Webster to Reserve/Future contracts.

What NFL team has the best all-time record? ›

Their NFC North divisional rivals, the Green Bay Packers have recorded the most wins (790) in NFL history. The league's other still-active charter member, the Arizona Cardinals, have recorded the most regular season losses (790), through the end of the 2022 season.

Who scored most points in Bears history? ›

On Sunday, Robbie Gould became the all-time leading scorer in Chicago Bears history.

Who has the best record in the NFL? ›

There has been only 1 perfect season in NFL history, the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who finished the regular season with a perfect 14-0 record, then went 3-0 in the playoffs on their way to winning the Super Bowl.

Are the bears mathematically eliminated? ›

The Bears have been eliminated from playoff contention.

When were the Bears good? ›

The Chicago Bears from 1940 to 1946 were considered a dynasty, earning the nickname of "Monsters of the Midway". In this span, the Bears went to five NFL Championships and won four of them, even as head coach George Halas temporarily left the organization to serve in World War II from 1943 to 1945.

Do the Bears have a 2023 first round pick? ›

The order for the top 27 picks in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft is set after the divisional round of the playoffs, with the Chicago Bears picking No. 1 and the Houston Texans picking No. 2.

Which bear would win in a fight? ›

In addition, polar bears are a bit larger and possess more powerful paws and sharp teeth. All these features indicate that they would win a fight.

What is the most dominant bear? ›

The most dominant bear in 2019, though aging, is the singular bear 856. Since rangers spotted bear 856 at the river in June 2019, the large male has been consistently assertive and confident, explained Mike Fitz, a former park ranger at Katmai National Park and currently a resident naturalist for explore.org.

Which bear runs the fastest? ›

' According to the National Wildlife Federation, the brown bear, also regarded as a grizzly bear, has the quickest forelegs, reaching speeds of up to 35 mph. The grizzly bear is just marginally faster than the American black bear- the nation's most prevalent bear species.

Who is the winningest coach in Bears history? ›

George Halas is the only coach to have more than one tenure and is the all-time leader in games coached and games won, while Ralph Jones leads all coaches in winning percentage with . 706. Abe Gibron is statistically the worst coach of the Bears in terms of winning percentage, with a . 268 average.

Who was the only team to beat the 85 Bears? ›

Bears seasons

The Bears won their first twelve games of the season before losing to the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. The loss to the Dolphins would be the only loss the Bears would suffer that season, as they finished with a 15–1 record.

Who did Bears get in Greg Olsen trade? ›

' Instead, the Bears went out and signed veteran tight end Jimmy Graham to a two-year deal worth $16 million, which was more than what Olsen signed for with the Seattle Seahawks on his one-year, $7 million deal.

Who bought the Chicago Bears for 100 dollars? ›

From the very start, the Bears were one of pro football's most successful and innovative franchises. They were the first to buy a player from another team -- $100 for Ed Healey from Rock Island in 1922.

Did Bears make any trades? ›

Bears receive Nick Foles in exchange for a 2020 fourth-round compensatory (No. 140 overall) draft pick. In the most recent of all Bears trades, the team got its competition for Mitchell Trubisky. Time will tell how this one works out for the team.

What draft picks did Bears give up for Fields? ›

The Bears made the jump from No. 20 overall in the 2021 NFL draft to No. 11 overall after sending the New York Giants their first-rounder (the 20th pick), the 164th pick (fifth round), and first- and fifth-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Who was the famous linebacker for the Chicago Bears? ›

Brian Urlacher (/ɜːrlˈækər/; born May 25, 1978) is an American former football linebacker who spent his entire 13-season career in the National Football League (NFL) with the Chicago Bears.

What QB did the Bears pick up? ›

Boyle, who was beloved in Green Bay as Aaron Rodgers' backup, signed with the Lions in the 2021 offseason to backup Jared Goff. He started three games that season, accounting for 521 passing yards on 61 completions, three touchdown passes, and six interceptions.

Who is the only perfect team in the NFL? ›

The 1972 Miami Dolphins season was the franchise's seventh season and third in the National Football League (NFL). The team was led by third-year head coach Don Shula and achieved the only perfect season in NFL history. They also led the league in both points scored and fewest points allowed.

Who is the losingest NFL team? ›

The Arizona Cardinals hold the record for the most losses in the history of the National Football League. Since joining the NFL in 1920 (the league's inaugural season), the Cardinals have suffered more defeats than any other team (777 in 102 seasons).

Does Manti Te O still play in the NFL? ›

He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, and played in the NFL until 2021. In 2012, Te'o became the victim of a major catfishing scandal when Naya Tuiasosopo created a fake online persona named Lennay Kekua with whom Te'o became romantically involved.

Why didn't the Bears have a first-round pick in 2022? ›

Back in 2021, former general manager Ryan Pace traded away the Bears' 2021 first-round pick, a first-rounder in the 2022 NFL draft and two future picks for Justin Fields.

Who replaced Jay Cutler on the Bears? ›

Eventually, Justin Fields is going to be the starting quarterback of the Chicago Bears. The Bears traded their 2022 first-round pick (among other things) to move up from the No. 20 slot to No.

How much money did Manti Teo make? ›

How much did Manti Te'o make from NFL? According to Celebrity Net Worth, he made about $10.4 million in his total salary for his NFL career, but there was a steep difference in his contracts from graduation to his last signed team.

Is Manti married now? ›

What is Manti Teo currently doing? ›

He married Jovi Nicole Engbino in 2020 and welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Hiro, that same year. Teo's wife is a personal fitness instructor and beauty consultant. She is currently pregnant with their second child, a son.

Are the 85 Bears the best team ever? ›

In fact, the 1985 Chicago Bears may still be the most famous team in NFL history and much of their fame comes from the brilliance of their season, the best season by a team in NFL history.

Who wore #3 Chicago Bears? ›

3 – Bronko Nagurski

One of the charter members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963, Nagurski had a stellar nine-year career with the Bears, appearing in 97 games and rushing for 2,778 yards and 25 touchdowns.

Do the Bears still have a chance for the wild card? ›

The Bears have been eliminated from playoff contention.

How did the Bears get 2 7th round picks? ›

So, it turns out that the Bears received three selections in this year's draft in return for Mack: a second-rounder (No. 48) they spent on Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker and the two seventh-rounders. Poles later traded down twice in the fifth round, acquiring an additional sixth-round choice in both deals.

Why are the Chicago Bears leaving Chicago? ›

More on the economic standpoint, the Bears do not own the restaurants/businesses around Soldier Field. In Arlington Heights, the team has ample land to build around a stadium like other NFL teams have to create a lucrative cash cow.

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