MINNEAPOLIS – Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Jetsie raised some eyebrows last week when the quarterback said Justin Fields The first month wasn’t bad, although all the stats say otherwise.
Jitsi noted that he saw Fields improve every week, and on Sunday, the statistics backed up his view. Fields identified the highest personal levels with a completion rate of 71.4% and a pass rating of 118.8.
It wasn’t enough to lead the Bears to victory, like a late spin by the wide receiver Ehmere Smith Marset Helped the Minnesota Vikings win 29-22.
After the Bears landed a 21-3 hole in the second quarter, Fields turned it on in the second half, completing 12 of 13 passes for 135 yards and down.
Fields was on point in the second half, decisive with his throws, quelling criticism – at least for the time being – for leaving receivers open and making a wrong call.
“I think when I first came here, I saw big guys flying around, and D-linemen going fast,” said the sophomore. “You just think you have to speed everything up, but I’m just starting to discover that you have to play at your own pace, the way you know how to play and stay cool in the pocket.”
Fields did not make big mistakes and did not flip the ball.
First-year coach Matt Eberfels said it was one of the best performances of his quarterback career.
With 2 minutes and 26 seconds to play after Minnesota led 29-22, Fields hit Marsett for 15 yards near the midfield. Were it not for Smith-Marsett trying to get a few extra yards instead of out of bounds, a decision that left the confusion and the so-called “selfish” receiver lost, Chicago could think Fields drove a successful two-minute drive down the road rather than showing improvement in condition loss.
“I think we definitely took a step forward,” Fields said. “I felt the protection was better today. I think we definitely handled their blitzkrieg better than last week, so I felt like we took a step forward with that.
“Just proud of everyone and the way they fought. We were down 21-3. A lot of teams in this league would have stopped playing and stopped playing, but I’m proud of our guys and the way they fought.”
Smith Marset’s confusion wasn’t the only mistake Chicago would think. Fields had big gains canceled out due to costly errors, including a 52-yard TD scamper which was called back by an illegal block in the back, and there were a few dropped passes. But within those missed opportunities, the Bears could still see a lead from the young quarterback, who was effective with better pass protection.
“It was cleaner,” Eberlus said of the pocket. “He had time to give birth. He can see on the field without being in a hurry and riding the jeep as we talked about last week, so that’s definitely encouraging.”
Like the OC, Fields was encouraged by the progress this offense is making. So were his teammates.
“Overall, I feel like everyone on the offense is up now, especially in the passing game,” tiffin jenkins He said. “We need that, because it will unlock the running game, give us more balanced defenses to confront us rather than people loading the box up, and challenge us.”
There is still a lot to clean up, but this loss gives Chicago (2-3) hope that the quarterback will enter a new phase of his development. And it probably doesn’t hurt that their next opponent is the 1-4 Washington captains, who gave up 11 passing TD points, and tied for second in the NFL. The opposition QBs averaged a rating of 103.7 against Washington, the sixth worst rating in the league.