The New York Giants were credited with six sacks on Justin Fields, which brings the season total for sacks allowed by the Chicago Bears up to 16. That’s the second most on a Bears quarterback since 2010 when Jay Cutler was dropped 17 times.
As I’ve written about so often through the years in Sackwatch, pass protection is as much on the quarterback as it is on the offensive line. Chicago’s pass protection on Sunday afternoon against the New York Giants had some issues, and I’ll dive into more specifics later this week, but there were also several plays where Fields had plenty of time.
Some of the play-action boots were well executed, and there were a couple of nice shots downfield to Darnell Mooney, and I know it’s a pedestrian number, but Fields’ 174 yards passing was his biggest total this season. So that’s progress. It’s a small step, but the passing game did take a step forward in New York.
“I think it did,” Fields said when asked if he thought their passing attack took a step. “Of course, there’s always room to improve, but I definitely think it did.”
“I think we’ve just got to be more consistent. Whether it’s me, whether it’s o-line, whether it’s the receivers. Some plays we’re all on the same page, we’re all executing great, and then some plays we aren’t. The biggest thing with that, you know, is just consistency.”
When asked specifically about the pass protection Fields said, “Just like I said, it was consistent sometimes. Like there were some plays where I was just hanging out back there, nobody was around me, so I think the guys did a good job on some plays, and then there were other plays where they could have been a little bit better. And then, also me with some of the protection adjustments, I could have done that better, and just as a whole we could have been better.”
During his short career, Fields has always stood in front of the media and taken the blame when warranted. He’s also been willing to get more detailed in explaining things that happen on the field during games.
“Just making sure that everybody is on the same page,” Fields said when asked what specifically he needed to be better at. “They blitzed us sometimes where I could have filled the protection or made it my call, but I think just that and just all being on the same page. We knew earlier in the week that these guys brought exotic blitz, so I think we were preparing a lot for that. And then they ended up not even doing most of that stuff, so just trusting our training, trusting the basics, and just executing that.”
Fields was asked why Chicago’s passing game wasn’t working, to which he replied, “Who said the passing game wasn’t working?” And then when told the numbers aren’t good, he said, “Numbers don’t matter. I don’t think, in my opinion, but as long as we win, like I said, that’s all I care about.”
The Bears have won two of their four games and have the NFC North leading Vikings (3-1) up next.
The jury may be out if the Vikes are truly good, but they are better than the Bears on paper. Fields recognizes they need more synergy on offense, saying, “I think the run game and the passing game has to be good for us to compete with the good teams.” And as for how to get the passing game on track, he says, “Like I said before, we just need everybody to do their job. Blocking, me making the right protection calls, routes at the right depth, everything.”
You can check out the full press conference from Fields here.