One Bold Prediction for Caleb Williams' Rookie Team Success

Bears rookie QB won't simply be one of the better first picks of drafts individually, but will also enjoy great team success says one NFL analyst.
Caleb Williams, among Bears throwing out the first pitch at a White Sox game, might not settle for being No. 2 in the NFC North but even that would be refreshing change.
Caleb Williams, among Bears throwing out the first pitch at a White Sox game, might not settle for being No. 2 in the NFC North but even that would be refreshing change. / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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A day after Chris Simms ranked Justin Fields higher than any rookie quarterback he ever put in his ratings, a prediction takes him one step beyond.

NFL Network's Judy Battista made here 10 bold predictions for the NFL season and No. 1 on the list is Williams leading the Bears to the playoffs.

Playoffs? Did she say playoffs?

Battista calls Williams a QB who can change the team's trend toward failure at the position and a potential rookie of the year mainly because "...he is joining what is easily the best team" quarterbacks chosen first have joined. The schedule is a huge factor, as well.

"Only eight rookie quarterbacks have posted double-digit wins since 1950 -- C.J. Stroud did it in 2023 -- but the Bears' schedule features the AFC South plus games against the Patriots and Commanders, both of whom will probably be starting rookie quarterbacks who have much less help around them," Battista wrote.

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Citing all the offensive weapons they added to DJ Moore and the defense's turnaround after the acquisition last year of Montez Sweat, Battista concludes the NFC North will be a tough place for teams from other divisions to play.

"The Lions are the class of the NFC North, but with the three wild-card spots available, the Bears will be on their way to sustained contention," Battista writes.

It's not an uncommon thought to have the Bears in the wild card chase but a division title like they had in 2018 seems out of the question. In an article detailing the most and least secure division champions, Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports calls Detroit's status atop the NFC North the third most secure, after only the Chiefs and 49ers.

The wild card would be fine for Bears fans starved for some kind of success. As Battista points out, it would be only the fourth playoff berth since the Bears lost to the Colts in the rain at Super Bowl XLI.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven


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Gene Chamberlain

GENE CHAMBERLAIN

BearDigest.com publisher Gene Chamberlain has covered the Chicago Bears full time as a beat writer since 1994 and prior to this on a part-time basis for 10 years. He covered the Bears as a beat writer for Suburban Chicago Newspapers, the Daily Southtown, Copley News Service and has been a contributor for the Daily Herald, the Associated Press, Bear Report, CBS Sports.com and The Sporting News. He also has worked a prep sports writer for Tribune Newspapers and Sun-Times newspapers.