The injury risks should outweigh the developmental rewards at some point for Justin Fields.
The Bears are down to their third-string RG. Chase Claypool has barely played.
And Fields has been stretched out, hit awkwardly, sacked five times and treated in the medical tent.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) January 1, 2023
Last week was ugly, so…
Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?
Mitch Trubisky. Baker Mayfield. Marcus Mariota. Daniel Jones. These are (were) the four quarterbacks of the teams ranked directly above the Chicago Bears in passing yards per game. The Bears are currently throwing for 97.5 yards per game, more than 40 yards per game fewer than the 31st ranked team.
Last year, the New Orleans Saints were last in this statistic. They threw for 187.4 yards per game.
If these numbers don’t dramatically improve for the Bears, this could the worst passing attack in modern football history.
I put the following commentary on Twitter Monday, but I wanted to repost it here. It should help towards understanding how I’m going to be writing about the 2022 Bears, and their quarterback, moving forward.
There was always going to be a contingent of Bears fans who started panicking once the team started losing ugly – an inevitability. These were the “Justin Fields will own the division” and “11 wins are possible” crowd. True believers; nothing wrong with it.
For the first year of a new program, there are definitive positives on the field. (I’ll have a piece about some of them tomorrow.) And you hope that over the next 13 games we simply continue adding to this list, building excitement / momentum for 2023.
But you have to understand that the Bears are far closer to the worst team in the league than the best. We could be looking at a group picking in the top 3 next spring. But two picks in the top 35 might be EXACTLY what this roster needs. (That’s where these fancy WRs are.)
I’m going to stay macro for the remainder of the season and cease the micro stuff. It’s not going to make me a particularly fun follow on game days but that’s where I’m at emotionally/mentally with this team and I feel it’s the smartest way to engage them.
This was NOT an easy list to compile. But I’m happy with my choices. And for all you Bob Dylan fans, I apologize. But I would rather listen to my cats scratch the couch cushions than an 11-minute Dylan mumble. So, I guess I don’t really apologize. I do apologize to the Judy Garland fans, though.
5. Mitch Hedberg
4. Terry Gilliam
Once again, Chicago Bears fans are left playing the “chicken or the egg” game when it comes to determining what, exactly, is the problem with the team’s offense. But there certainly is some evidence to suggest offensive coordinator Luke Getsy isn’t getting the most out of his players.
Justin Fields might be bad, but we know he is certainly capable of being much better than this. In his last four complete games of his rookie season, he passed for 975 yards and five touchdowns, with a passer rating of 85.9. Compare that to the first four of 2022, in which he has managed 471 yards, two touchdowns and a rating of, gulp, 58.7.
Fields isn’t even as effective as a rusher. In that same span, he ran for 257 yards, compared to 147 this year.
Somehow, the Bears offense is worse. They went from 27th in scoring and 24th in yardage to 31st in both. They are averaging 33 fewer yards and 2.3 fewer points per game. It is especially concerning when one evaluates Getsy’s performance in the passing game because, well, Getsy came to the team after being a passing game coordinator. It’s supposed to be his specialty.
It’s hard to see a major difference in the supporting cast; it isn’t as if the Bears didn’t have struggles at wide receiver and offensive line last year. And, while I have written several times about the difficulties Fields might have adjusting to an offense he has never played in — especially one that quarterbacks tend to struggle in — at least some of that should be offset simply by Fields no longer being a rookie.
The benefit of the wide zone offense Getsy was set to bring to Chicago is supposed to be the easy throws for the quarterback, but we aren’t seeing those. One can watch any Green Bay Packers game and see several examples of Aaron Rodgers taking a three step drop and making an easy throw for six yards. Do those not exist in Getsy’s version of the offense or is the quarterback not pulling the trigger?
The odds above are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Green Bay Packers
I always like the Chicago Bears.
And it’s only one week so why not?
This season was not without promising developments, and some of those developments came at key positions. Let’s take a moment to accentuate the positives.
I always like the Chicago Bears.
And with the Bears depleted, and the Vikings unable to stop anyone from throwing the ball, this game could potentially be a fun watch. Right? Isn’t entertainment the ceiling now for the remainder of the 2021 season?
The more I get to know about Justin Fields, it’s clear no coach at this point in his career can “ruin him”. He’s not built that way 🐻⬇️
— 💋K 🐻 (@sleepxpert) December 17, 2021
I’ve hesitated to write fully about West Side Story in an effort to avoid hyperbole. But after two viewings, I’m done with that. This is one of the greatest films ever made. What are my six favorite things about the picture, you ask?
Minnesota fields one of the best offenses in the sport and it’s unlikely this dilapidated Bears defense will keep them under 27 points. So, the question is, can the Bears offense match that output?
This is Justin Fields’ breakout performance as a passer.
Chicago Bears 30, Minnesota Vikings 27
It’s gonna be a rough winter across the country, as we find ourselves once again in the throes of Covid-19. So when FOCO reached out to me about partnering, I wanted to find a way to incorporate their stuff into DBB and try and have some fun with these crazy times.
Above is the gaiter scarf. They sent me one. It’s warm as hell and it can serve as a mask. And it ain’t that expensive. (Like $15.) Here’s the link to the product. Christmas is coming, folks, even if we’re not spending the day with our families. (We’ll have a giveaway from FOCO in Monday’s Volume II post.)
I always like the Chicago Bears.
But this is a unique time. I have reached the point with this offense where I no longer believe they’re capable of first downs. And when they do manage a few first downs, or make a splash play, I just assume the penalties and sideline mistakes that follow will sabotage the progress and keep the offense from scoring points. There can’t be a less fun unit in the NFL, especially considering their talent on the outside.