Chicago Bears Missing in Action (Week 1): Cole Kmet

Chicago Bears (Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears (Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports) /

For most of the 2022 NFL off-season, there were talks surrounding Chicago Bears’ TE Cole Kmet and the rapid progress he was making. ESPN and other analysts seemed to be in agreement with the idea of Kmet having a breakout year in the 2022 season.

These predictions seemingly came to fruition during Kmet’s 2022 preseason debut in a game against the Seattle Seahawks. Although the starting offensive unit only played for a series, the Fields-Kmet connection was present. The Bears opened up this drive with a twelve-yard screen pass to Kmet. Later in the drive, the duo met again when Fields found Kmet, open, in the middle of the field for a nineteen-yard gain off of a bootleg.

Chicago Bears Missing in Action For Week 1 is Cole Kmet

Then, in the Bears’ 2022 regular season opener against the San Fransisco 49ers, Kmet was nowhere to be found. In fact, the Lake Barrington, Illinois native was only targeted once in the Bears’ comeback win. However, Kmet’s lack of involvement in the passing attack was for a reason.

As we saw, the Bears’ offensive line struggled with the 49er pass rush, especially their edge rushers. With that said, per ESPN, the Bears’ front five only allowed two sacks and three hits on the quarterback. Early in the opener, 49ers’ star, Nick Bosa, was able to get by rookie LT, Braxton Jones, for a sack.

This is where Kmet comes into play. The Bears saw the potential mismatch in Jones v Bosa and decided to do something we rarely saw during the 2021 season: make in-game adjustments. Cole Kmet was only targeted once because, for most of his snaps, he was used to chip or block Nick Bosa while in passing situations.

Next. 5 notes from week one snap counts. dark

This adjustment proved to be beneficial, as it tamed Bosa for the remainder of the game. With that said, of course, the Bears’ offensive line still has a tremendous amount of room to grow. Going forward, the Bears should look to get Kmet more involved in the passing attack. The Green Bay Packers pass rush is nowhere near as talented as that of San Fransisco, as they only recorded one sack against the Vikings, so that should open up the involvement from Kmet.