LAKE FOREST, Unwell. (AP) — Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears’ passing sport carried the offense Sunday for the primary time this season in a 29-22 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Now, if the Bears (2-3) can solely discover methods to complete video games, they may stop a three-game shedding streak Thursday evening after they host the Washington Commanders (1-4).
Fields went 15 of 21 (71.4%) for a career-best completion proportion and in addition had a career-best passer ranking of 118.8 towards Minnesota, whereas throwing for a season-high 208 yards.
“You’ll be able to really feel Justin snug the place he’s proper now within the offense,” coach Matt Eberflus stated on Monday. “He’s taking command. I can see him in follow, and I’ve seen within the final couple weeks, him taking management of route depths and speaking to receivers.”
Fields is in his second offense in two NFL seasons and agrees with the evaluation of his consolation.
“I’d say so,” he stated. “I imply, it’s similar to simply attempting to remain calm. I believe after I first received right here, you’d see massive guys flying round, D-linemen going quick. Like, you simply suppose you need to velocity all the things up.
“I’m simply beginning to determine you simply attempt to play inside your personal rhythm, the best way you understand how to play and keep calm within the pocket.”
Bears receivers have been inconsistent, however now Fields’ high two targets, vast receiver Darnell Mooney and tight finish Cole Kmet, are making greater impacts.
Mooney made a leaping one-handed seize of 39 yards Sunday, whereas Kmet had a season-high 4 catches for 45 yards. Fields was sacked simply twice after being sacked 16 occasions within the first 4 video games.
“The blokes are rising,” Eberflus stated. “The gamers are getting used to the scheme. The timing’s getting higher, the rhythm’s getting higher.
“Yesterday the safety was good and the safety’s been good at occasions and it was higher yesterday. The blokes are simply getting used to it.”
Particular Groups. Bears rookie Dominique Robinson blocked a subject aim and Bears kicker Cairo Santos made subject objectives of fifty, 51 and 47 yards. About the one factor they couldn’t do towards Minnesota was get well a shock onside kick within the second half throughout their comeback.
The go protection. For the primary time, the Bears go protection struggled tremendously with out injured cornerback Jaylon Johnson (quad) on the sphere. Three rookies within the secondary over two video games hadn’t been an issue, however the Vikings capitalized towards the secondary that included undrafted rookie cornerback Jaylon Jones, rookie security Jaquan Brisker and rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon.
Huge receiver Justin Jefferson had 10 catches within the first half and 12 for 154 yards for the sport whereas quarterback Kirk Cousins (32 of 41, 296 yards) picked the Bears aside all through the primary half after which on the ultimate scoring drive. The Vikings transformed 12 of 15 third downs for the sport.
Operating again David Montgomery, however not as a runner.
In a sport when the Bears starter returned from every week away with an ankle damage, he was held to solely 20 yards dashing. Nonetheless, he was extensively concerned within the passing sport for the primary time this 12 months as a blocker and receiver with 4 catches for 62 yards. He took one brief toss for 30 yards.
“I can’t management what folks see, however the passing sport is absolutely getting on a roll, so it may be actually, actually good,” Montgomery stated. “To have that stability is nice. It helps within the run sport, and the run sport helps the go sport.
“It helps in all aspects of the sport. You’ve received to have the ability to do each.”
Huge receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette. The backup, who was reduce by Minnesota and signed simply earlier than the season in Chicago, had his first vital enjoying time within the offense Sunday and had the ball stolen away from behind by Cameron Dantzler on the Vikings 39 on the ultimate Bears’ drive to determine the sport.
Smith-Marsette additionally received flagged for an unlawful block from behind on a 52-yard Fields scramble, negating a landing.
Johnson (quad damage) missed his third straight sport however ran in warmups earlier than the sport and was working at Halas Corridor on Monday. Eberflus stated he’s hopeful the beginning Bears proper cornerback can return Thursday.
2 — The variety of touchdowns the Bears had on two journeys contained in the purple zone. They labored at this space of the sphere extensively in follow after going 0 for 3 there final week.
The Bears host the Commanders at 8:15 p.m. ET Thursday.
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