The "O" Grows, Fields Doing Damage, Harry Stock Watch, What Happened on that Parsons TD? Where is Leatherwood? And Other Bears Bullets

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The “O” Grows, Fields Doing Damage, Harry Stock Watch, What Happened on that Parsons TD? Where is Leatherwood? And Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Happy Halloween! I hope you bought enough candy for trick-or-treaters *AND* yourself.

  • No, the Chicago Bears didn’t win yesterday. But they won in the ways that matter for this franchise moving forward. And it starts at the top with Justin Fields:
  • Let’s give this some additional perspective. The Cowboys defense is seventh best in yards allowed per game and third best in points allowed. Meanwhile, last week’s (the Patriots) defense allows the 13th fewest points per game and is orchestrated by football’s evil genius, Bill Belichick. That Fields put up THESE numbers against THOSE defenses is impressive as heck. Those two games represent legitimate building blocks in Fields’ development. Stacking back-to-back solid efforts is a sign of growth that we’ve been waiting to see. And it fills me with joy that we’re seeing it. How about three-in-a-row against a darn good Dolphins team?
  • The Bears are showing that they’re building an offense around Fields’ skill set, writes NBC Sports Chicago’s Alex Shapiro. This offense has shown signs of life since the 10-day mini-bye that it hadn’t shown all year. Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy is starting to figure it out, both in terms of play calling and personnel usage. There are still some rough patches and questionable calls, but I’ll chalk it up to be part of the growing pains that come with the developmental process. And it’s not as if Getsy and Fields are working with The Greatest Show on Turf. But if putting up 33 points at New England and following it with 29 against Dallas on the road is a sign of things to come, then sign me up.
  • Notice that this tweet does not say the Bears:
  • The Los Angeles Rams have the NFL’s worst offense. Not the Chicago Bears. The defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. Sheesh. This league turns on you quickly, doesn’t it?
  • So … what’s next for this Bears offense? Perhaps a changing of the guard at running back. The backfield tag team of David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert keeps cooking, but when does Herbert become the lead dog? Herbert is averaging 5.75 yards per carry on his 28 attempts since the mini-bye. Montgomery has out-carried Herbert by two, meaning that the two backs are getting a fairly even share. Unfortunately, Montgomery is averaging just 3.83 yards per rush over the last two games. These two work well as a tandem with Herbert making splash plays and getting chunk yardage as Montgomnery gets tough, nitty gritty yards. But there isn’t anything that makes me think that Herbert can’t do both. Maybe we’ll see Herbert get those chances in the coming weeks.
  • As an aside: There was a report earlier in the summer suggesting the Bears were waiting to see how Montgomery fit in the offense before handing over an extension. If that truly was the case, I wonder what GM Ryan Poles and his staff think of the fit. Montgmery has 92 carries, 361 rushing yards, and two scores — which projects to 223 rushes, 877 rushing yards, and 5 touchdowns over a full 17-game season.
  • Getting Cole Kmet involved in the red zone passing attack was a pleasant surprise. In fact, that fourth red zoe target in eight games is just two fewer than the 6 red zone targets he was given as a rookie in 2020. And his third red zone catch is just two shy of the five he got last year:
  • It wouldn’t surprise me if N’Keal Harry continues receiving a sharp increase in playing time moving forward. Harry saw his snap totals go from 30 in his debut against the Pats to 50 on Sunday against the Cowboys. The snap share went up to, going from 42% in Week 7 to 63% in Week 8. Maybe the Harry can be the equivalent of a trade deadline acquisition for the Bears offense. At minimum, the Bears should give him an extended look over the season’s final nine games.
  • Riley Reiff, who played all 79 of the Bears’ offensive snaps, wasn’t a huge negative in his first start as a Bear at right tackle. But I’d still like to see Alex Leatherwood work his way into the lineup. Even if it isn’t as a starter, it would be nice to deploy him in a heavy package. Maybe Getsy will get to that eventually. In other words, I’m not entirely miffed about Dieter Eiselen getting six snaps in a pinch on Sunday.
  • The biggest beef with the Bears offense yesterday might’ve been the pacing. I’ll co-sign the tweets from folks who were groveling over the offensive tempo looking like a group that was up by 20 and not down by 20, but only to an extent. Because while I understood why the Bears should’ve been picking up the pace, I thought it was better that the Bears run their stuff for developmental and evaluative purposes in a game that was clearly out of hand. Remember, we’re still talking about a first-year play caller and second-year quarterback who is new to this system. This might’ve been an occasion where the Bears were better off not dropping Fields straight back on every snap, and risk watching him get decapitated by a relentless Cowboys defense.
  • Speaking of the Dallas D, this play was a nightmare:
  • Mark Potash (Sun-Times) frames it as the Bears being caught flat-footed on the play. Fields fell on the sword, telling reporters: “That’s my fault for just hoppin’ over him. I should have tagged him. I can’t tell you the last time I made a tackle, so (I) just gotta be aware in that situation, tag him and make sure he’s down.”
  • On the one hand, Fields is right. His awareness needs to be better. The optics of seeing Fields leap over a dude when merely putting a finger on him would’ve put him down by contact (thus, ending the play well before it became a defensive touchdown) are rough. There is no excuse for what Fields did (or in this case didn’t do) on that play. And I’d bet on the Madden gamers docking him some AWR points in the next update. But on the other hand, as someone who saw Jay Cutler’s Bears career trajectory change when chasing down a defender after a turnover, part of me is just glad Fields didn’t get hurt on that play. The last thing these Bears need is their ace quarterback going down with an injury trying to tackle Micah Parsons. Even still … Fields gets a dreaded loaf for that effort.
  • Also nightmarish? The Bears defense. That group had no answers for Dak Prescott, Tony Pollard, and the rest of the Cowboys offense. My worst fears were realized when Dallas’ offense was better and more potent with Ezekiel Elliott on the sidelines. There is no spin zone to be had with this showing for a Bears defense that allowed six offensive touchdowns, gave up 442 yards of total offense, let up 7.8 yards per play (including a not-so-nice 6.9 yards per rush), and went 4-for-4 on touchdowns in the red zone. Sure, the Bears defense forced a turnover with another Eddie Jackson interception. But that wasn’t nearly enough.
  • I’m still upset about this:
  • And my blood was boiling after seeing the refs call a couple of ticky-tacky holding calls on Bears blockers. Don’t get me wrong. The refs aren’t why the Bears lost this game. And I often find it difficult to go too hard on the zebras. They have tough jobs and they are going to miss calls. That’s just the nature of the beast. HOWEVA, the NFL cannot come out here and talk to us about how they care about player safety and that head injuries are taken seriously when a player gets his helmet ripped off his head *DURING A PLAY* at the line of scrimmage and in the trenches with no penalty for the action. The number of eyes on the ball, at the line of scrimmage, and looking at linemen should’ve resulted in someone employed by NFL officiating seeing that in real time. Full stop.
  • Don’t act like I was the only one who was thinking it yesterday:
  • He looks thrilled to have passed Papa Bear Halas on the all-time list of NFL wins:
  • An early look ahead to next week:
  • I see the Blackhawks were in the trick-or-treat spirit last night:
  • Sorry not sorry, but the Astros don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to cheating-related charges:

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.