Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?
I always like the Chicago Bears.
And the Justin Fields era is here!
Let’s Talk About Fields.
There will be two distinct camps emerging on social media over the coming days. Camp one will be the ecstatic, “Fields is gonna light up the league” types. Camp two will be the reserved, “all rookie quarterbacks struggle” types. While I firmly reside in the latter camp, I understand the emotions of the former. Most living Bears fans have only seen quarterback play ranging from mediocre to unprofessional. Pleading for patience may be prudent, but it’s also easy to understand any fan who says, “Screw patience, I want a star quarterback!”
But Sunday is not about Fields’ long-term future in Chicago. This Sunday is about next Sunday and the Sunday after that. Matt Nagy and the Bears need Fields to deliver the kind of performance that closes the book on the Andy Dalton era. That doesn’t mean some splashy statistical affair. It just means a performance wherein the kid displays that he’s got things under control.
It’s not an easy task. This is a good Cleveland defense in a hostile building. Fields will see coverages and pressures the Browns have never put on tape, and likely that he’s never seen before. But he’ll need to handle all of it and leave no doubt as to who is the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears.
Stats of the Week
- Won through the air? Through two games, the Bears and Browns are two of the top nine rushing defenses in the league, coming in fourth and ninth respectively. With Cleveland’s injuries at receiver and Chicago starting a rookie QB, it’s unlikely either team will abandon the run, successful or not. (The teams rank eighth and third in rushing offense.)
- Only eight players in the league have more sacks than the 2.5 Robert Quinn currently has.
- Baker Mayfield is completing 81.6% of his passes. That’s just a gaudy number. There will be a ton of stress on the secondary Sunday to make tackles and limit YAC. Can they hold up?
Bold Bears Prediction
Last week I predicted Darnell Mooney would lead the team in targets and he doubled both Allen Robinson and David Montgomery.
Tyrod Taylor was 10-11, 125 yards, 1 passing TD, 1 rushing TD, before going out of last Sunday’s game against the Browns with an injury.
Justin Fields will have a passer rating over 90 in his first start.
Tweet of the Week
Second game after being signed a few weeks before the season + 39-years old..Jason Peters pic.twitter.com/Ypvs7sWQhL
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) September 22, 2021
Here’s how the game plays out.
(1) Both teams commit to the run early, with limited success.
(2) The Browns try to limit the impact of the Bears’ defensive front with quick tosses to the tight ends. They’ll move the ball between the 20s but struggle to get into the end zone.
(3) Fields’ mobility is the difference maker. His speed will keep drives alive and buy him enough time to hit the Cleveland secondary over the top. (Hopefully his receivers catch the ball this week.)
Chicago Bears 23, Cleveland Browns 20