Another week, another tough loss for the Chicago Bears. Some fans, seeing the big picture, take comfort in that the Bears now hold the third overall pick in the 2023 draft, which could bring a blue-chip prospect to Chicago or be traded for a King’s ransom. But no matter how you view it, the worst part of Sunday for the Chicago Bears was the injury to quarterback Justin Fields.
Hopefully, it’s nothing major, but Fields did say the pain was pretty bad. I’m sure we’ll get a clearer picture later this week, but for now, let’s look at three Bears who earned a game ball this week.
While he didn’t get a touchdown this week after posting five in three games, tight end Cole Kmet had himself yet another highlight reel catch. Like Fields, Kmet has silenced most of his critics over the past five weeks and is playing his way into a handsome contract extension with the Bears. With the chemistry he’s building with Fields, Kmet could be an invaluable building block for the franchise.
For the first time in a very long time, the Bears’ secondary held the opposing team’s passing game pretty well in check, thanks in large part to a fumble forced by safety Jaquan Brisker. He had seven tackles on the day, but punching the ball out halfway through the second quarter and giving the Bears the chance to take a two-score lead was a great development for the rookie.
Sadly for Bears fans, Fields looked much more human this week than he has recently. All the running (by necessity, considering the abhorrent state of the offensive line) caught up to the record-breaking quarterback, and he did not seem to have the same quickness and electricity in his movements. He still worked that Fields magic on a couple of plays, shedding tacklers in the backfield before finding an open receiver for the first down, but you could tell he was slower.
There were a couple of things he could have done better. A deep shot to wide receiver Darnell Mooney in the first quarter was a little long, though Mooney didn’t appear to be running full speed, either. The game-ending interception was, of course, brutal though still catchable. But as I’ve said on Twitter, Fields shouldn’t have to be perfect for the Bears to win games. His margin for error shouldn’t have to be zero. At some point, someone has to step up: make the tough catch, stop the other side’s offense on a 4th-down run, or maybe don’t allow a 103-yard kickoff return touchdown just when your offense picked up a two-score lead and had all the momentum.
Justin Fields isn’t why the Bears are losing close games; he’s why these games aren’t complete, humiliating blowouts.
Honorable Mentions: Darnell Mooney ran a nice route in the first quarter and caught a touchdown, David Montgomery had a beautiful, off-script catch along the sideline late in the game and also picked up the game-tying touchdown, and Equanimeous St. Brown made some phenomenal blocks in the run game and picked up a key first down on the Bears’ game-tying drive in the fourth quarter.