Bears Top 10 Moments and Storylines of 2022

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Bears Top 10 Moments and Storylines of 2022

Chicago Bears

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable New Year’s Eve tonight (and is ready for a day spent horizontally watching football tomorrow).

With 2022 just about in the books, I figured today would be a perfect time to look back at some of the best Bears moments of the year that was.

10. Ryan Poles is Hired as the Bears Next GM

It’s entirely too early to know whether or not Ryan Poles is the guy. But at least he’s not the last guy, and that’s all Bears fans wanted at this time last year. Poles’ first year at the helm of the Bears has had its ebbs and flows, but he’s in a great position to make this team significantly better this offseason.

The book is yet to be written on Poles, and this offseason will be a massive test for the young GM. But a fresh voice and new direction atop the football ops department was a must, and here we are.

9. Matt Eberflus is Hired as the Next Bears Head Coach

Likewise, the jury is out on Matt Eberflus simply because it’s too early to decide otherwise. But, also again, Matt Nagy’s vision and voice had run their course in Chicago, and it was time for a change.

Eberflus probably isn’t the sexiest hire in a day and age in which offensive gurus are the hottest in football. Still, as corny as the HITS principal and some of the old school coach speak that comes with Eberflus, he seems to have returned a level of accountability lost during Nagy’s tenure, which is a good thing for a young team.

8. This Jack Sanborn Kid is Pretty Good

His season may have been cut short due to injury, but 2022 was a fantastic year for Jack Sanborn. The local product made his way to Bears training camp as an undrafted free agent and stuck around after an impressive preseason. When Roquan Smith was traded to the Baltimore Ravens ahead of the trade deadline, Sanborn became a starter and filled the role wonderfully.

Sanborn logged 59 tackles, five for loss, three quarterback hits, and a fumble recovery in six starts between the trade deadline and the injury that ended his season against the Eagles. Who knows what the future holds for Sanborn, but this was a dream season for a local kid.

7. MNF Beat Down in New England

The Bears may not have won a game since this Week 7 Monday night affair in Foxborough, but they made it count if it’s going to be their final win. Coming off of one of the most embarrassing losses I can recall as a Bears fan the previous Thursday night at home against the Commanders, the Bears were ready for this one.

This one will be where we look back and say, “this is where it all started to click” for Justin Fields and the Bears offense. Luke Getsy and Matt Eberflus came out with a plan for their quarterback, and it was executed to near perfection as the Bears thumped the Patriots 33-14 in primetime.

6. Bo Jack is Back!

Eddie Jackson came into this season being called a bust, washed up, a lazy tackler, and unmotivated after getting paid. But Jackson had one heck of a bounce-back season before going out with a Lisfranc injury.

Jackson racked up 80 tackles, four interceptions, and two forced fumbles in just 12 games for the Bears before the injury.

5. Teven Jenkins: From Nearly Cut to Piece of the Future

I’ve said it a few times, but I’ll repeat it: Watching Teven Jenkins evolve from a non-factor with no position who was nearly cut … to a player who’s found a home at right guard and embraced his role on the team has been one of the most fantastic storylines of this season.

Jenkins has worked hard to learn a new position and put to bed many of the maturity concerns that plagued him early in his Bears tenure this season. There’s been plenty of plays where Jenkins can be seen not only winning his battle on the line but obliterating his opponent as he did in college, the same type of ferocity that prompted previous GM Ryan Pace to trade up for him.

Like this one:

Or this one:

It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Jenkins, but it seems like he’s here to stay and will be a force to be reckoned with on the Bears offensive line.

4. Darnell Mooney’s Amazing Catch

Darnell Mooney’s season didn’t go the way anyone hoped it would. He never took that next step that the Bears wanted him to, and it ended early due to injury. No doubt Mooney’s ability and Fields’ chemistry with him will keep him in the fold in Chicago as a No. 2/3 wide receiver, but he’s not a No. 1.

Still, this catch was WILD!

3. Slip and Slide Opening Day

We knew that the Bears weren’t going to be good this year. We probably didn’t think we would be talking about them flirting with the No. 1 pick here in Week 17, but we knew it would be a developmental season for them, which made the opening day upset of the 49ers in a wet and wild affair at Soldier Field all the more fun.

We’re sum this one up with a little “how it started, how it ended” …

2. Justin Fields Breaks Michael Vick’s Single-Game QB Rushing Record

In a season with plenty of red marks in the win-loss column, it was a lot of fun to watch Justin Fields make history by breaking Michael Vick’s single-game quarterback rushing record against the Dolphins.

1. The Bears Have Their Man at QB

The No. 1 moment or storyline of 2022 for the Chicago Bears is such a no-brainer it almost goes without saying … Finally, the Bears have a quarterback of the future!

Listen, I’ve talked about this ad nauseam in my weekly Fields Film column, so you know exactly where I think Justin Fields is in his development. There’s work to be done, primarily as a passer. However, he has made significant strides in every aspect of the game this season and established himself as the centerpiece of this franchise, and damn, has it been fun to watch.

If we learned one thing about the Chicago Bears in 2022, Justin Fields is that dude.

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.