The story will be Justin Fields. Every week, from here out. Fields played how a rookie with no first-team reps should play. Bad interception. Cadence issues with the line. Some brilliant throws (that the receivers didn’t catch). Extended a crucial drive with his legs. Now the season becomes about his progression. And if the Bears can win while he progresses, this becomes a fascinating season.
Other thoughts. Rapid fire is back, baby.
- The other progression to track is Kindle Vildor. Vildor made enough plays Sunday to provide hope but also looked lost at times. If the Bears can find a second corner on this roster it’ll make the offseason so much easier to navigate.
- Roquan Smith and Jaylon Johnson are young cornerstones for this defense. Roquan is a weird combination of Briggs and Urlacher – an attacking run stuffer who’s also brilliant in space. Johnson, if he stays healthy, has All Pro corner talent.
- Robert Quinn’s hit on Burrow out of bounds was absurd but this was his best game as a Bear.
- Allen Robinson has to catch the touchdown pass from Fields. He just has to. It’s not only pivotal in the game but it would have given the organization a huge moment to celebrate. Don’t complain about the quarterbacks you’ve played with in your career when you can’t make plays like that.
- Cole Kmet. One target. That just isn’t enough. The Bears have to get their tight ends consistently into the game plan.
- Where the hell did that Angelo Blackson come from?
- The league understandably wants to protect quarterbacks from all injury, and every other player from head injury, but can someone explain to me the emphasis on taunting fouls? Who cares? Seems to me the only party affected by taunting is the tauntee and that should be pretty easy to handle on the football field.
- There were only 454 yards of total offense in this game. That’s insanely low. (The game got exciting late but it was a snooze for three quarters.)
- Marquise Goodwin and Darnell Mooney have too much speed. The Bears have to start stretching the field. One would think Fields’ ability to extend plays will lead to more shots moving forward.
- The weird thing about Andy Dalton is that even when he’s playing well his numbers are bizarre. 9 completions for 56 yards? (Still believe the best case scenario for this season, re: Dalton, is him enjoying his time here so much he signs on to be Fields’ backup in 2022.)
- Alec Ogletree is a better player than Danny Trevathan.
- For a great player, Akiem Hicks does a lot of stupid things on the field.
It’s all Fields now.