Remember the 6-11 Chicago Bears team we saw last season that seemingly lacked any sort of real identity?

Well, that team has been replaced by a Bears team that has swagger, confidence, and an approach that’s a pain in the rear for opponents.

Chicago upset the San Francisco 49ers 19-10 in week one. And they did it (partially) by rattling 49ers quarterback Trey Lance, which was their plan all along.

Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson didn’t hold back while talking about Lance and what Chicago’s defense did to him on Sunday (Lance was 13 for 28 for 164 yards, an interception, and a 43.1 quarterback rating).

Bears
Sep 11, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Dominique Robinson (91) makes the tackle on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

“What you think he did? He ain’t do s–t,” said Johnson told after the game (via NBC Sports). “We made him play quarterback. We know he hurt us in the run game with his feet and everybody knows at some point he’s going to run and make a play. But I feel like we had to really make him play quarterback.”

“Like I said, he’s still a young guy and I think he’ll end up being a good player for them,” added Johnson. “But it’s early. He has to go through it. I feel like we did exactly what I said we would — make him prove himself as a quarterback.”

If you think this is Johnson peacocking a bit after a win, that’s not necessarily the case.

Johnson said ahead of the matchup that Lance had to prove himself to the Bears.

“He’s a young guy. Definitely has a strong arm,” said Johnson of Lance last week. “He can hurt us in the run game, but he still got to prove himself to me.”

Johnson talked the talk and then he backed it up with his play on the field.

If the Bears are going to play with this level of swagger and confidence all year, it’s could be a long season for the other three teams in the NFC North.

Chicago may not have high expectations this season, but they’re approaching 2022 like it’s their division to lose.

Featured image via Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports