Extra Points: Justin Fields Battered, Mooney Finally Shows Up, Thoughts on the Backfield, More

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Extra Points: Justin Fields Battered, Mooney Finally Shows Up, Thoughts on the Backfield, More

Chicago Bears

Thursday night’s loss to the Commanders had us all feeling like Justin Fields:

Fields Battered and Bruised

Saying that Fields wore one for the Bears on Thursday night wouldn’t do it justice. Fields was under siege all night, which isn’t new, but this was an extreme even for the Bears. Washington’s stout defensive line (even without Chase Young) lived in the backfield, pressuring Fields a career-high 18 times.

In 42 pass-blocking snaps (per Pro Football Focus), the Bears’ offensive line allowed 10 hurries, two hits, and five sacks on Thursday night. Fields has been pressured on 46 percent of his dropbacks this season, the highest rate of pressure a QB has faced in the first six games since ESPN began tracking pressures in 2009.

Luis: And the result was

On multiple instances, I thought Fields was knocked out of the game, and watching the second-year quarterback slow to get up and limp around was cringe-inducing for me. I only hope that Ryan Poles felt equally as icky about seeing Fields limp around the field all night because he’s the guy who can (and must) do something about it.

Mooney Finally Shows Up

Darnell Mooney hauled in seven Justin Fields passes for 68 yards in Thursday night’s loss to the Commanders, a season-high in catches and his second-best yardage output of the season (94 yards against the Giants in Week 4).

Fields targeted Mooney 12 times last night, and they hooked up on a beautiful 26-yard completion where Fields got outside of the pocket and hit Mooney coming from the middle to the sideline for a first down catch and run, one of three first down connections between the pair.

Mooney’s 12 targets are twice as many as his previous high of six this season against the Houston Texans in Week 3. The Fields-Mooney connection has to be there for Justin to succeed, so at least that can be chalked up to a silver lining from an otherwise cruddy performance.

I’ve Had Enough, and Not Enough, of Velus Jones Jr.

Let’s get something established here: Ryan Poles is unequivocally not cutting Velus Jones Jr. anytime soon. So, please, people on the exhausting bird app … stop trying to tweet it into existence. You just look silly.

Poles spent a third-round pick on Jones, and he’s here to stay for the time being. Besides, if you’re championing for this kid to get cut because of two (albeit costly) muffed punts, you’ve got bigger issues than I can help you with.

That said, I, too, am tired of seeing him return (or at least try) to return punts. That experiment should be retired immediately. Still, there is plenty of potential as a playmaker on offense. Whether that be catching passes (which we haven’t seen yet) or getting touches out of the backfield or on end-arounds (which has been good in an uber-small sample size), we need to see exactly what that potential looks like.

So, no more punt returns, please. But more offensive touches. Please, and thanks.

Backfield Thoughts

Khalil Herbert sure looks good. The second-year back broke off a big 64-yard scamper last night that went for naught, but it was still lovely. It was also another reminder of the shiftiness and acceleration that he brings to the table out of the Bears’ backfield.

Herbert’s long runs by game for this season look like this:

  • Week 1: 12 yards
  • Week 2: 27 yards
  • Week 3: 52 yards
  • Week 4: 15 yards
  • Week 5: 7 yards
  • Week 6: 64 yards

So, for those not doing the math at home, Herbert has two runs of 50-plus yards this season and is averaging 6.4 yards per carry with 403 yards and three rushing touchdowns on 63 carries. David Montgomery’s longest run of the season is 28 yards (in Week 2 against Green Bay), but that’s his only run of 20-plus yards. Monty is averaging a respectable (but not as impressive) 4.0 yards per carry with 246 yards on 62 carries, one shy of Herbert’s total.

Am I saying the Bears should make Herbert the undisputed main back or trade Montgomery? Not quite yet. However, I am saying that Herbert is making a solid case for it.

Spare Change

  • Speaking of Khalil Herbert’s 64-yard run, Next Gen Stats had him reaching a top speed of 19.45 mph, but he wasn’t the fastest player on the field on that play … that was Justin Fields, who reached 20.07 mph trying to get up field to block for his running back.
  • Roquan, come on my dude, that’s Carson Wentz …
  • As a heads up, Fields Film is coming on Monday due to the TNF not making All-22 available until tonight/tomorrow morning.


Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.