It is not how you start, but rather it is how you finish. That has to be the message for the Chicago Bears and quarterback Justin Fields as they let a close game get away. Their 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions puts them in the cellar of the NFC North and, while that is not necessarily a net negative for this rebuilding squad, it is still highly disappointing.
Fields finished the game 12–of-20 for 167 yards two touchdowns and one costly interception.
He added another 147 yards on the ground via 13 carries to lead the team in both categories as the Bears rushed for over 250 yards as a team for the second week in a row.
This one felt a bit different given the Lions are not a good team. They did hang 30 points on the scoreboard, though, and after the game, Fields talked about what the Bears must do to take the next step.
Bears QB Justin Fields Gets Honest About Next Steps For Offense
Fields’ Short Memory
“Just keep growing…late-game drives, that situational two-minute. Just got to finish, put up points, and just execute. So I think that’s the next step for our offense.”
The Bears made three trips to the red zone on this day and converted two of them.
Both were touchdowns one of which went to tight end Cole Kmet who caught two touchdowns and has four in the last three games. The other came on a one-yard scramble from Fields, easily his least exciting score of the day.
67-YARD TD! #DaBears
— NFL (@NFL) November 13, 2022
That play, which broke the record for longest run by a Bears quarterback, a record Fields set last week, followed a brutal pick-6 by the second-year passer.
The quarterback seconded that notion going so far as to call it a “dumb” play and guaranteeing that something like that would “never” happen again in his career. That is a strong sentiment but Fields put on display just what his coach was talking about.
Asked how exactly he goes about that – particularly on plays that prove to be so critical – Fields was matter-of-fact.
“Can’t do anything about the past. Just kind of been my mindset. Just the, ‘What can you do now? Yea, that happened, so what?’ So um, there’s a lot of ups and downs throughout the game, lot of flags that were called, that we really can’t control but can’t do anything like that. Really just controlling what you can control and then moving on from that point.”
He added that his legs were sore after the game and he was sporting a band-aid on his right ear after sustaining a “big gash”. But, overall, he says that he is feeling fine which was not a given after he took several big hits.
Taking Bears’ Offense Up a Notch
One interesting tidbit Fields mentioned about the Bears’ offense when asked about checking into different plays to take advantage of mismatches, Fields said that is not within his job description at this point.
“I can’t check that. That’s not part of my job. That was a QB draw called so I’m about to just check into a whole different play and do that. Maybe in like five, six years when I have a little more experience but not now.”
Fields delivered the last line with a smile.
The Bears and fans surely hope it doesn’t take that long. But, perhaps, that is the true next step for the Bears to be able to finish games. They already put more on him and his legs and have gotten good results. Letting him take full command of the offense could prevent some of the clunkiness we still see from this group.
They will travel to take on the 4-6 Atlanta Falcons in Week 11.
Embed from Getty Images