This isn’t the first Justin Fields start any Bears fan wanted to see. The Browns defense played well and the Bears offense did not. Fields opportunities were limited by both the play calls and the offensive line, and he wasn’t able to make much of the opportunities he had. The Bears won’t have to face Myles Garrett every week, but they definitely need a better plan to account for blitzes. It was a rough loss, a painful offensive performance, and a rough way to start the Fields era.
But the Bears defense played well!
Here’s the box score for those of you with macabre inclinations.
Khyris Tonga had a whole lot of Bear to offer Baker Mayfield
Tonga was clearly just giving Baker a hug to celebrate his 5th incompletion.
I can get used to this new 4th down sack plan
The Bears stopped the Browns first two drives with sacks from Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack.
It took two drives for Justin Fields to pass the ball
And it was a completion for 11 yards on 4th and 22! I see no reason not to believe he can keep up this 100% completion percentage for the rest of his career.
Update: he did not keep up that 100% completion percentage for the rest of his career.
Get well soon, Khalil Mack
Update: He got well soon! Mack was back for a sack attack on Baker Mayfield on the Browns first second half drive.
Jaylon Johnson rewards my faith in him
In this weeks five questions, I pointed out Jaylon Johnson as a player to watch. He had a nice 3rd down pass breakup early, and held browns tight in coverage for most of the game. He’s been the cornerstone of this defense so far this year as is on track for a great career if his shoulder stays healthy.
Browns pass rush did not make things easy for Fields
It felt a little rude to be honest. The poor Bear is making his first NFL start and these Brownies come in collapsing the pocket early and often. I suppose they were providing a learning opportunity for Fields to get used to how quickly he has to get rid of the ball or how much smaller his scrambling windows are in the NFL. All this experience in one game might actually accelerate his development. Maybe I should be thanking the Browns.
Nsimba Webster figured out the loophole on how to advance the ball on a fair catch
Fumble it forward, baby. Smart Bear.
Justin Fields had 4 pass attempts and 4 sacks at the half
I haven’t had time to do the research on this one, but my gut tells me that’s not a good ratio. Some of that is playcalling. Some of it is the Bears O line repeatedly getting beat by a better Browns D line, but it’s likely some of it comes down to Fields holding the ball too long. I don’t doubt he can grow out of it,
Bears defense kept us in the game longer than we deserved
I’m starting to get optimistic about this Bears defense actually coming together under Sean Desai. The Bears didn’t repeat the takeover carnage of last week, but they brought sacks in bunches and held one of the best rushing attacks in the league to minimal gain despite the offense giving the ball back as quickly as possible.
This isn’t the first time the Bears have embarrassed themselves on offense. It’s not the first time I’ve felt dread every time a Bears quarterback dropped back. But it could be the worst since it happened with a quarterback we all have such high hopes for in his first start. Some people will want to blame Fields. Some people will want to blame Nagy. Some people will want to blame the O line. All of them will be right.
But the most important thing for a young quarterback is to show consistent improvement. Fields now has room to improve his performed every week this year without having to pass the league average mark!