The Chicago Bears cleared the first half of the season. While they sit at 2-7, most would agree that they have started to play better football in recent weeks. That trend may continue for the following players as we get into the back end of the 2023 season.
3. Darnell Mooney may earn a decent contract in the second half of the season
Darnell Mooney started off the season slowly. He scored a touchdown in week one, and then he took about a month until you heard his name again. To be fair, he was coming off of offseason ankle surgery; he missed most of the offseason recovering, so he was rusty and not quite up to full speed. Worse than that, he was in a dysfunctional offense. The offense has slowly improved, but the real improvement has been Darnell Mooney.
Mooney has 203 yards in the last four games, which averages out to 50.8 yards per game. In the five games before that, he had 104 yards, which is just 17 yards per game. It is clear that things are changing in his favor.
When you consider Mooney has always been a deep threat and Justin Fields is the better deep-ball thrower, his return, plus the health of Mooney in the last month, should lead to his best football. Mooney only averaged 46 yards per game over the course of his career, but his career-high rate was 62.1 yards per game. He may not quite get to that level, but if he does finish the next eight games averaging 50 yards per game, he would finish the year with over 700 yards, which would be the second-best season of his career. It would lead teams to forgive his slow start and realize his finish was better than most of his career. Mooney could salvage a contract, even if it would be elsewhere.