Week 15 ended just as the previous six have for the Chicago Bears (3-11). That is minus Week 14 when they had their bye, of course. They lost yet again. This time to a Philadelphia Eagles team that boasts the best record in the NFL on top of being the top-scoring offense in the league. The Bears, meanwhile, find themselves on the other end of the spectrum at 3-11 and rank 19th in scoring.
But the vibe in the locker room wouldn’t suggest a team that has seemingly become averse to victories after starting the season 2-1.
They are a team that has hope, thanks in large part to the man under center in Justin Fields.
After the game, he spoke about wanting to come back late. His team was down two scores despite suffering an apparent injury that sent him to the locker room for a key possession.
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“It was important,” Fields said of returning to the game following what turned out to be cramps but still had the second-year passer limping to the sideline before going down to the ground. “Every time I get a chance to play, I’m going to want to be out there with my guys. I know they fight and, like I said before, they’re the only reason I play.”
Fields’ leadership has been a constant light at the end of the tunnel. Especially for the moribund Bears team even as they were at their lowest this year.
It was a postgame answer from Fields after a Week 6 loss that sparked an offensive turnaround.
And it is Fields who will determine just how well this Bears’ rebuild will turn out granted the front office does for him what Philadelphia Eagles general manager did for Jalen Hurts who was highly complimentary of Fields ahead of Sunday’s showdown.
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Fields punctuated his sentiment if there were any doubts, saying, “I play for [my teammates] and God and really nobody else.”
It’s a very strong message from a player just finding his own way in this league.
Fields on The Field
Fields finished the day with 152 yards and two passing touchdowns on over 66% completion adding another 95 yards via 15 carries to put him over the century mark for the season. It was the fourth time in five weeks that he’s had double-digit carries and the seventh time this season, an overall process he says he is not eager to repeat in future years.
He prefers to be a passer, something he pointed out he was known for in college as opposed to being a runner. In that regard, the most impressive feat of the day for the electrifying passer was zero.
The Bears were plus-2 in the turnover margin with the help of Fields throwing no interceptions.
Fields finds a wide-open Byron Pringle! Back to a one-possession game in Chicago.
📺: #PHIvsCHI on FOX
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/mzMHAEtgdH pic.twitter.com/pVEgLmfOAc
— NFL (@NFL) December 18, 2022
It is his first game in three weeks without a pick. And it comes against an Eagles team that entered the week leading the NFL in interceptions with 15.
“That’s always the emphasis for the offense – is no takeaways and the defense getting plus-2,” Fields said of if there was extra emphasis on ball security this week. “So that’s always our goal is to not turn the ball over. But, yea of course, you want to go into the game never wanting to turn the ball over.”
Still a Rough Day
Fields did not emerge from the contest unscathed, however. He tool six more sacks bringing his total up to 46 on the year, the most in the league. Fields has taken 82 sacks over his first 25 games – a 3.28 sack per game rate.
After Sunday’s contest, he gave props to the Eagles’ pass rush. That unit came into and exits Chicago leading the league in sacks.
Feeding off of each other's energy 🍽@Haason7Reddick | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/Z37Nl5kpcL
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 18, 2022
“They had a great d-line out there,” Fields said. “I think the biggest thing when we do play such a force at d-line, is just maybe one or two reads, find the check down to run. Because you’re not going have all day with the d-line that they do have.”
The Bears will have to try snapping their losing streak this coming Saturday against the AFC-leading Buffalo Bills next.
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