The NFL playoffs have officially gotten underway this past weekend, meaning it’s the first weekend without Chicago Bears football in quite awhile. The Bears were very much left out of the playoff conversation, instead going the complete opposite direction by having the worst record in football and securing the top overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.
While it wasn’t a pretty season in the standings, the Bears had plenty of highlight moments throughout the season. Whether it was a clutch run by Justin Fields or a key defensive takeaway, each game had something to celebrate. We narrowed down the best play from each game of the Bears’ 2022 season.
Week 1: Bears vs. 49ers
Justin Fields scrambles and throws a touchdown to Dante Pettis
Chicago Bears’ Dante Pettis reaches for the endzone for a touchdown reception during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
The Bears offense had a dreadful first half against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, but found a spark after halftime. It started thanks to a long touchdown from Fields to Dante Pettis. Fields evaded pass rushers and found Pettis all the way across the field, who was as open as can be. The receiver took the ball to the house for a 51-yard score. The Bears won 19-10.
Week 2: Bears at Packers
Robert Quinn sacks Aaron Rodgers on third down
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and Chicago Bears linebacker Robert Quinn (94) dive for a loose ball in the second half of their football game on Sunday, September 18, 2022 at Lambeau Field. in Green Bay, Wis. Wm. Glasheen USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Apc Pack Vs Bears 4204 091822wag
In the Bears’ Week 2 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, the defensive line got after the quarterback multiple times, something that became a rarity as the season wore on. One of the biggest plays was made by Robert Quinn, when he chased Rodgers down on a key third down early in the second quarter. It was the second sack of the night for the Bears, who had momentum getting the ball back. Unfortunately, it didn’t amount to much as the Packers won 27-10.
Week 3: Bears vs. Texans
Roquan Smith picks off Davis Mills to set up game-winning field goal
Sep 25, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears inside linebacker Roquan Smith (58) runs with the ball after an interception in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
We didn’t know it then, but the Week 3 matchup between the Bears and the Houston Texans would end up being a preview of the two worst teams in the league. And even though the Bears would claim that title based on record, they bested the Texans thanks to a clutch interception by Roquan Smith late in the game. The pick allowed the Bears to kick a game-winning field goal to win 23-20 and go up 2-1 in the standings.
Week 4: Bears at Giants
Justin Fields fires deep shot to Darnell Mooney
Oct 2, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney (11) catches a pass in front of New York Giants cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (22) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Offensive production was hard to come by when the Bears took on the New York Giants, but there was an incredible play made between Fields and Mooney. In the first quarter, Fields loaded up and fired a deep shot to Mooney, who dove to bring in the catch. The play was Mooney’s longest of the season and arguably his best catch, too. The Bears would lose 20-12, however.
Week 5: Bears at Vikings
Darnell Mooney makes one-handed catch
Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney (11) runs after the catch against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Things got dicey in the first half when the Bears faced off against the Minnesota Vikings, going down as much as 21-3, but a one-handed grab from Mooney sparked a comeback that made things interesting up until the final whistle.
With under a minute left in the first half, Fields dropped back and launched a deep ball to Mooney, who went over the defender to bring the 39-yard pass in with one hand to put the Bears in scoring distance. They scored three plays later, but lost 29-22.
Week 6: Bears vs. Commanders
Justin Fields fires deep touchdown pass to Dante Pettis while getting hit
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – OCTOBER 13: Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears looks to pass during the second quarter against the Washington Commanders at Soldier Field on October 13, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
The Bears only scored one touchdown against the Washington Commanders, but it was a beauty. The only problem was Amazon Prime missed part of the play. In the second half, Fields and the offense got to the line quickly and caught the defense, and the cameras on Thursday Night Football, sleeping.
Fields threw a moonshot to Pettis in the corner of the end zone for the score while taking a massive hit in the process. Fields shook it off, though, and pushed his way up to thunderous applause. The Bears wound up losing 12-7.
Week 7: Bears at Patriots
Fields adjusts and throws a touchdown to Khalil Herbert
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 24: Khalil Herbert #24 of the Chicago Bears celebrates with Teven Jenkins #76 after scoring a 25-yard receiving touchdown during the second quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on October 24, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
In the Bears’ best win, there were many great plays to choose from that could be considered the best. Fields’ long scramble on third and 14, Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker’s first career interceptions, or Cole Kmet’s spectacular sideline grab. But the best was Fields’ touchdown to Khalil Herbert.
Fields gets set to throw a screen to Herbert, but adjusts his arm angle at the last second to avoid a closing defender. The pass was perfect and Herbert had a convoy to the end zone, going untouched to put the Bears ahead. They won 33-14, their last victory of the season.
Week 8: Bears at Cowboys
Eddie Jackson picks off Dak Prescott
Oct 30, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; The Chicago Bears celebrate safety Eddie Jackson (4) intercepting a pass thrown by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (not pictured) during the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
After the Bears balled out against the Patriots, they put up a dud against the Dallas Cowboys, particularly on defense. But they had one impactful play that stood out that wound up giving them momentum near the end of the first half.
Safety Eddie Jackson continued his renaissance season by picking off Dak Prescott and returning it into Bears territory. The turnover set up a field goal to cut Dallas’ lead to nine points and give the Bears a fighting chance. But despite a few comeback efforts, they fell 49-29.
Week 9: Bears vs. Dolphins
Justin Fields torches Dolphins defense on 61-yard touchdown run
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – NOVEMBER 06: Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears scores a touchdown during the second half in the game against the Miami Dolphins at Soldier Field on November 06, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
The play of the game and the play of the year. This run by Fields was a turning point for the Bears quarterback and put everyone on notice when it came to his abilities. Fields alluded pressure while faking out defenders and burst into the secondary, rushing for 61 yards all the way for the score.
The Bears would lose a close one 35-32, but Fields stood out in a big way thanks to this run. It was also the catylist for his record-breaking rushing day with 178 yards, the most for a quarterback in a single game.
Week 10: Bears vs. Lions
Justin Fields burns Lions defense for 67-yard touchdown run
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – NOVEMBER 13: Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on November 13, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Fields followed up his incredible touchdown run from Week 9 with another one in Week 10 against the Detroit Lions. After throwing a costly pick six, Fields responded by taking matters into his own hands. Literally. He faked a handoff and dashed to the right side before cutting back and leaving every Lions defender in his dust for a 67-yard touchdown.
The score brought the Bears right back into the game, but they fell 31-30 in another close loss.
Week 11: Bears at Falcons
Cole Kmet makes one-handed circus catch
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 20: Cole Kmet #85 of the Chicago Bears catches a pass over A.J. Terrell #24 of the Atlanta Falcons during the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Kmet had the catch of the year for the Bears in their game against the Falcons. He caught a one-handed bullet pass from Fields in traffic while taking a hit from A.J. Terrell in the first half. The 24-yard reception resulted in a field goal for the Bears, though they fell 27-24.
Week 12: Bears at Jets
Byron Pringle makes tough touchdown catch
Nov 27, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Byron Pringle (13) catches a touchdown reception while defended by New York Jets cornerback D.J. Reed (4) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
For the first time during the 2022 season, the Bears were without Fields and had to turn to backup Trevor Siemian against the New York Jets. Siemian had a solid start, leading back-to-back scoring drives to begin the game.
His lone score was a dart to Byron Pringle, who pulled the ball away from the defender in the back of the end zone. The catch was Pringle’s first touchdown as a member of the Bears, but it was the last one the team would get for the day as they lost 31-10 in a blowout.
Week 13: Bears vs. Packers
Justin Fields goes deep to N’Keal Harry
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – DECEMBER 04: N’Keal Harry #8 of the Chicago Bears makes a catch over Jaire Alexander #23 of the Green Bay Packers during the fourth quarter at Soldier Field on December 04, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Fields returned to the lineup after missing one game and came out firing for most of the day against the Green Bay Packers. He had another impressive touchdown run, but his arm was on display more often than not. He had a couple of great long balls, one to Equanimeous St. Brown and another to N’Keal Harry.
The play to Harry stands out not only just for the throw, but the gutsy catch as well. Harry high points the ball over Jaire Alexander for the 49-yard grab. The drive stalled after that, however, as the Bears settled for a field goal and couldn’t get the win, losing 28-19.
Week 15: Bears vs. Eagles
Justin Fields picks up big first down on second and 27
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – DECEMBER 18: Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears runs the ball during the first half in the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field on December 18, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
The Bears emerged from the bye week with a matchup against the NFC-best Philadelphia Eagles. They kept things close for most of the first half, thanks in part to a magnificent run by Fields to set the Bears up in scoring position.
Facing a second and 27, Fields evaded pressure and once again used his wheels to make magic happen on the ground. He picked up 39 yards, juking and spinning away from defenders to get the Bears in scoring position. They punched it in one play later with David Montgomery, but lost 25-20 when it was all said and done.
Week 16: Bears vs. Bills
Kyler Gordon picks off Josh Allen in the end zone
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – DECEMBER 24: Kyler Gordon #6 of the Chicago Bears intercepts a pass against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter of the game at Soldier Field on December 24, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
From one elite team to another, the Bears had a tough stretch of their schedule late in the season when they welcomed in the Buffalo Bills to frigid Soldier Field on Christmas Eve. They tried to play the role of the Grinch, however, as Kyler Gordon stole a present from Josh Allen in the end zone for his second interception in as many games.
Gordon got the pick, then had a solid return to give the Bears decent field position early in the second quarter with the lead. They wouldn’t be able to do much with it, however, needing to punt after five plays. The Bears would end up losing 35-13.
Week 17: Bears at Lions
Justin Fields scrambles for 60 yards
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 01: Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears runs the ball during the first quarter in the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 01, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)
It was a new year for the Bears, but the same Justin Fields showed up on the ground for their Week 17 matchup against the Lions. Fields rushed for 100 yards in the first quarter, the biggest play of all coming on a 60-yard scamper that set the Bears up inside the 10-yard line.
Fields dropped back and looked to pass before finding daylight and nearly outracing the Lions defense for a score. Instead they settled for a field goal and wouldn’t get anything after that. Chicago lost a big one, 41-10.
Week 18: Bears vs. Vikings
Velus Jones Jr. toes the sideline for a rushing score
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JANUARY 08: Velus Jones Jr. #12 of the Chicago Bears reacts after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter of a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on January 08, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
The Bears’ season finale against the Minnesota Vikings was ugly almost all around, but one play in particular stood out and it revolved around the team’s third-round draft pick. Velus Jones Jr. had his best play of the season when he took a pitch up the sideline and managed to stay in bounds for a 42-yard score.
Jones had a rough first year in the league, but finished the year on a high note with a productive few games and saving his best for last. The Bears would lose 29-13 but with some help, it resulted in the top overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.