Even the best parts of Sunday’s game felt too good to be true, didn’t they?
If you’re a Chicago Bears fan who has become as jaded as I have over the years of watching Aaron Rodgers rip our collective hearts out, you never felt comfortable.
The 16-3 and eventual 19-10 lead never felt safe to me.
And I hate that I turned out to be correct. The Green Bay Packers got their eighth straight win over Chicago.
But not all is lost, there were some good things to come out of Sunday’s game. Especially at the quarterback position.
Justin Fields, QB - I have said in past stock up, stock down columns that I was going to refrain from putting Fields in the “up” category until we saw him take steps as a passer. That time has come. Fields was electric Sunday. He was keeping his eyes downfield, stepping up, but not tucking and running, and finding guys downfield. He also fit in some tight windows and had good touch and the deep accuracy he was known for in college. All-in-all, it was his best passing game of his career so far and a season-high in yards and completion percentage.
Braxton Jones, LT - Jones has been solid most of the season but I think the last couple of games he’s really started to turn a corner. He was great on Sunday and has entered the conversation with Teven Jenkins for being Chicago’s best OL.
Josh Blackwell, CB - The undrafted rookie out of Duke started the game because Chicago’s defensive backfield was so light. I didn’t really know
much anything about the kid, but I came away impressed. He recorded five tackles, but played tight enough coverage on Christian Watson on one play in the first half to make Rodgers throw it away and played tight on Randall Cobb, too.
Elijah Hicks, S - I’m not trying to be unfair here. He’s a seventh-round rookie making his first career start. But if Hicks has to see a lot of action down the stretch, the back end of the Bears’ defense is in more trouble than it is right now. He looked lost in coverage on Watson’s TD catch and overall doesn’t look ready to be starting.
Equanimeous St. Brown, WR - I am starting to see why St. Brown never broke through with the Packers and why he appears to be on a similar path with Chicago. He can do three or four really good things and then has one glaring mistake that seems to take it all back. He made some big receptions for the Bears, the biggest being that 56-yarder from Fields. But it was all undone by a bad route that allowed Jaire Alexander to make the interception that ended any chance of a Chicago comeback.
Cairo Santos, K - I am not worried about Santos like I was with some of the other post-Robbie Gould kickers we’ve seen in Chicago, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned. Santos missed another extra point and then had another field goal blocked. At the end of the game, that was just four points in what turned out to be a nine-point loss, but it’s still valuable points. When you add it in with the missed PAT that was the difference against Miami, it’s a concerning pattern. Hopefully, this is just a swoon spell and Santos bounces back strong next season when the team is ideally more competitive. I’m not going to sweat too many missed kicks for a three-win team.