Chicago Bears

Equanimeous St. Brown, Bears offense takes small step toward silencing critics

The Chicago Bears offense wasn’t great in Week 1’s victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Justin Fields threw for only 121 yards. David Montgomery ran for 26 yards and averaged 1.5 yards per carry. Darnell Mooney caught just one pass for eight yards. But stats can be deceiving, and in Sunday’s downpour at Soldier Field, the Bears’ offense took a small step toward silencing critics.

I know what you’re thinking: how could the Bears have silenced their critics with such embarrassing box-score numbers? It’s a fair question, but the answer is simple: Chicago’s skill players made timely plays, even if they weren’t in abundance. And as is often the case in the NFL, it’s the team that makes the timely play that wins the game.

Dante Pettis scored a 51-yard touchdown on his only catch of the game. It was a game-changing, momentum-flipping moment. It jumpstarted 19 unanswered points by the Bears.

Equanimeous St. Brown hauled in an 18-yard touchdown. It was his only catch, too. But it was a quality route that allowed Fields to be aggressive on a play call that was meant to be more conservative. Fullback Khari Blasingame was the designed target.

In those two plays — yes, just two plays — Bears skill players proved, at the very least, that they’re good enough to support Fields in a game’s biggest moment.

“We’ve been training our whole lives for this,” St. Brown said after the game. “This is our profession. It’s our job to make plays and catch the ball. Wherever the doubt comes from, it doesn’t bother us. We know what we can do.

“I knew we were resilient as a team. In the media there were a lot of doubters going in. But we knew what we had to do. We knew we were going to win the game. It’s not a surprise to us at all.”

The weather conditions Sunday were sub-optimal, to say the least, for every skill player on the field in Chicago. Even 49ers stars like Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk struggled to put up strong receiving stats. The Bears’ wideouts deserve a bit of a break for their stats. But they also a ton of credit for making the plays that mattered most.

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