Bears pursue Justin Fields’ improvement in final three games


Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields advances the ball past the block of offensive tackle Teven Jenkins as Minnesota Vikings defensive end Patrick Jones II pursues during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields advances the ball previous the block of offensive deal with Teven Jenkins as Minnesota Vikings defensive finish Patrick Jones II pursues through the first half of an NFL soccer sport Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photograph/Nam Y. Huh)

AP

The Chicago Bears have been eradicated from the playoffs with Monday evening’s 17-9 defeat to the Minnesota Vikings, leaving solely three video games earlier than the teaching regime of Matt Nagy may very well be judged.

Within the meantime, they proceed with video games in opposition to Seattle, the New York Giants and Vikings once more searching for offensive consistency and enchancment behind rookie quarterback Justin Fields in an try to search out which means in a misplaced 4-10 season.

Fields accomplished 26 of 39 for 285 yards and a landing on the sport’s final play, however his career-best 96.6 passer score appeared meaningless after three turnovers and 91 yards in penalties proved disastrous.

Nonetheless, Fields sees positives in his sport after his season passer score hit its highest level since he grew to become starter, at 73.2.

“I feel exterior the pocket, I feel I do fairly properly there,” Fields stated. “I feel once we, like, do no-huddle performs, I feel our offense may be very environment friendly doing that simply because we all know these performs. It’s actually no considering. We line up and run these performs, and I do know the place all of the solutions are to no matter protection they provide us to the hurry-up offense. I feel that type of will get our offense in a rhythm.”

A part of the issue for the Bears is Fields, although. He makes rookie errors and leads the NFL with 12 fumbles. He additionally has extra interceptions (10) than landing passes (seven).

Fields can’t be blamed for all the penalties bogging down the offense. They stored the operating sport from getting going and put the Bears in third-and-long conditions.

“Penalties can get you on the fallacious time and it occurred to us yesterday,” Nagy stated. “That’s the place going via this offense and stating the apparent, scoring three factors nearly all of the sport won’t ever win you a soccer sport. It simply doesn’t. It doesn’t occur.”

The issue for the Bears is that they’ve been attempting to repair this all yr. Fields supplied a solution from his school days.

“We’re going to need to provide you with one thing, a punishment throughout follow, run a lap or one thing,” Fields stated. “That’s what we did at Ohio State. In the event you jumped offsides you ran the entire lap, I don’t care who you might be.

“They even had me operating laps if I’d do one thing fallacious.”

Nagy expressed confidence the offense would look higher sooner or later with Fields as QB.

“Each rookie on this sport needs it to occur in a single day, and it takes time,” Nagy stated. “Justin is constructed the precise method, and you understand, he’s going to be actually, actually good.”

WHAT’S WORKING

Go rush. Akiem Hicks returned from 5 weeks away due to a sprained ankle and had two sacks, whereas Robert Quinn raised his sack complete to 16 on the yr with two extra. It left Quinn two wanting breaking the staff report of 17 1/2 set by Richard Dent in 1984.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

Offense within the pink zone. The Bears acquired to the Minnesota 21 or nearer six instances and got here away with 9 factors. They rank twenty ninth at scoring touchdowns within the pink zone.

STOCK UP

Thomas Graham Jr. The rookie sixth-round draft decide from Oregon was on the follow squad all yr, the place he may have been claimed by one other staff if not protected. He needed to play in opposition to Minnesota due to the COVID-19 outbreak and had maybe a greater sport than any cornerback on the staff has had all yr by breaking apart three passes, together with one in the long run zone. Graham’s draft inventory fell after he opted out due to COVID-19, then he was lower and placed on the follow squad.

“Me personally, I didn’t wish to be on the follow squad,” Graham stated. “I needed to sit extra.”

Now he thinks it helped.

“I’m going in opposition to Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, Marquise Goodwin each day,” he stated “They arrive to me, they inform me what I must work on and stuff like that.”

STOCK DOWN

Left deal with Teven Jenkins. He adopted up a debut when he was known as for 4 penalties by committing three penalties, together with one for unsportsmanlike conduct and a holding play on a David Montgomery first-down run.

INJURIES

The one harm from the sport reported by the Bears was a confirmed concussion for return man Jakeem Grant, who was simply chosen to the NFC staff for the Professional Bowl. … Nagy stated defensive again Duke Shelley has been reinstated from the reserve/COVID-19 listing.

KEY NUMBER

5 — Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the Bears, together with one on Matt Nagy in opposition to Minnesota. Two of these penalties prolonged drives after the Bears stopped third downs, permitting Minnesota to go on and rating 10 of its 17 factors.

NEXT STEPS

The Bears journey to Seattle for a Sunday sport in opposition to Russell Wilson and the struggling Seahawks.

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Extra AP NFL protection: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL





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