Watching the Bears after the bye has been painful in recent years. There have been way too many moments of late in which this team has looked unprepared, unmotivated, and plain old bad after a stretch of time off that should’ve been used to sharpen things up. And in the early going, things were looking rough with three penalties happening within the game’s first five plays. Things would eventually settle down. The Bears would play their game. Unfortunately, the end results was a 25-20 loss to the Eagles.
Turn that frown upside down. Because there are some bigger fish to fry in terms of stepping back and seeing the entire picture. But you have to allow yourself the opportunity to see it.
Did Justin Fields Show Progress in His Development?
And no play exemplified the growth like this touchdown throw to David Montgomery:
If you’ve been waiting for Fields to show he can read a defense (and happen to have been missing out on the action from his last six games), then the play above was for you. Play it on loop until you get it through your skull that Fields’ developmental arrow as a passer is pointing up.
Anyway … on a day where Fields’ receiver options were Byron Pringle, Equanimeous St. Brown, Nsimba Webster, Dante Pettis, and Velus Jones Jr., this is what Fields did as a passer:
- 14-for-21 (66.7% completion rate)
- 152 yards (but 7.2 yards/attempt)
- 2 touchdowns with 0 interceptions
- 119.5 passer rating (his highest rating since posting a 120.0 rating against Dallas in Week 8
On the one hand, I feel like Darth Vader in Empire Strikes Back telling Young Skywalker that his efforts were “impressive … most impressive.” But on the other hand, that collection of receivers represents Exhibit A as to why the Bears need upgrades in this department. And, yes, that’s presuming Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool return to full health next year. This group ain’t it. Full stop.
OK, But Did the Bears Win?
And that’s OK. Sure, it’s another defeat by a narrow margin. But in a game against the NFC’s best team, the Bears hung around. Heck, there were even points where Chicago was outplaying Philly. Those moments didn’t last long. And the Eagles’ talent won out at the end. However, seeing this Bears team battle is an encouraging sign for the future (especially if GM Ryan Poles upgrades the roster).
Can We Call it a Tank Win?
But it took Fields returning to the game after leaving due to injury for me to officially give my stamp of approval.
Meanwhile, I’m obsessively refreshing Tankathon’s website like Victor Wembanyama was hanging in the balance. Here is what the latest standings reflect:
Broncos Country, let’s ride!
OK, now I see why the Raiders were quick to move Alex Leatherwood off the right tackle spot:
That’s just an absolute butt-whipping. And while I know the blockers won’t win all their reps, this was just UGLY.
As was that one pass-blocking rep for Cole Kmet against Reddick that almost broke Twitter:
I hope you’re not tired of the Bears facing the NFL’s elite. And here’s hoping a quick turnaround doesn’t muck things up too badly as the Buffalo Bills come to town for a noon kickoff on Christmas Eve. I guess if you need to do some last-minute Christmas shopping, tickets to see The Justin Fields Show isn’t the worst thing you could give.