The truth is, Justin Fields wanted to throw the ball at Darnell Money. That’s where the Chicago Bears quarterback was looking for third and fifth spots in the third quarter on Sunday.
Against the look of the area, Fields thought he had opened Mooney open over the middle. But just as Fields was about to pull the trigger, Mooney turned in a different direction.
Fields pulled the ball back.
“At that point,” he said, “instincts took over.”
Instincts pushed him forward in the pocket. His eyes suddenly saw a fast lane with minimal congestion. Gas hit and three Miami Dolphins defenders defected.
He went to the open field, at full acceleration.
It was like, ‘Holy cow! “When he took off in front of me, it was really cool. I don’t know if there is anyone else in the league who can do that. truly. That was very special.”
Bears coach Matt Ebervloss watched the ball unfold right in front of him. When asked what he saw, Eberlus lit up.
He said “speed”. “I saw speed and his dribbling. Once he enters the open field, he pretty much escapes most people.”
Sixty one yards. drop. NextGen stats recorded the fields’ peak speed at 20.33 mph.
Soldier Field’s crowd exploded.
“You kind of see that look in his eyes when he’s going to take off,” Kim said. “And you just know to get out of the way and let him do what he wants.”
This was the longest streak of Fields’ career, and part of a record-setting and revitalizing performance in the Bears’ 35-32 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Early in the fourth quarter, in a 14-yard stampede, Fields broke the franchise’s one-game record for a push of yards by a quarterback. That 50-year-old mark of 127 was held by Bobby Douglas.
In the next possession, Fields broke the NFL record of 173 set by Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick in 2002.
“He will go on to break a lot of records,” Mooney said. “So be prepared.”
Fields are finished at 178 yards. For good measure, he also threw three touchdown passes, including 16 yards to Mooney in the second quarter and two to dunked.
For those looking for glimmers of hope from the 2022 season, particularly from Fields and offense, they are now there – and appearing weekly.
The Bears offense has found a groove since mid-October, averaging 376 yards and 31 points over the past three games.
“We’re really maximizing our strengths and minimizing our weaknesses right now,” Ebervlos said.
Except for kneeling down to finish the first inning, the Bears scored four of their first five possessions and finished with four touchdowns of at least 60 yards. They have 17 campaigns to score over the last three games. For comparison’s sake, they had 20 campaigns to score during their first six matches.
“It’s just about believing in ourselves,” Mooney said. “It’s about believing in the coaches and believing in Luke’s game plan and continuing on our offensive journey. Whatever happens, we really believe in him.”
In a season that will be judged highly by how much growth the fields and offense are having, losses as close as Sunday won’t rattle Bears fans nearly as badly as they might have before.
As long as QB1 regularly shows flashes of playmaking brilliance, it will become easier to get past the shaking of the defense. The shortcomings of that unit were apparent as Dolphins Tyreek Hill’s receiver totaled 143 yards, scored in a 3-yard pass from Tua Tagavailoa and drew a 32-yard entry penalty into the end zone to create another Dolphins score.
Fields production would also make it easier to push special teams’ slips to the side, such as the breakdown in shooting protection in the second quarter that allowed Dolphins lineman Jaelan Phillips to block a Trent Gill kick. Andrew van Ginkel returned that loose ball 25 yards for a score.
Instead, Chicago’s focus will be more on the developmental ascent in the fields. And make no mistake, Sunday’s performance was at least quite encouraging and exciting for many. Eberflos described it as a “big step”.
“We have a young football team,” he said. “We are building on that. And the main part of that is the midfielder.”
However, the final touch was missing. Twice Fields and the Bears grabbed the ball in the final quarter of the game with a chance to collect a peg or push the green light. And they failed twice.
On those two possessions, they called 12 passing passes but ended up only finishing 2 for a total of 3 yards.
“That’s what you play in this game,” Mooney said. “To be in those moments and to shine in those moments and do it. … That was like what happened against Washington. Same deal. You obviously know what happened.”
“You want to become a threat (at the end of matches) and dominate that and make teams afraid of us being in this situation.”
For the small Bears team, these kinds of situational experiences should prove invaluable to the maturation process. Ultimately, all judgments will depend on how the bears and their crimes respond to those moments in play on the line.
“We have to find a way to build leadership there,” Khalil Herbert said backing away. “Everyone here feels the same.”
Kumit added, “We had chances, man. Since you’ve been here, the defense has always turned to us. You want to have a chance where the attack defines the defense. That was our chance today and we didn’t.”
Yes, there was a deep shot from Fields to Chase Claypool that fell incomplete on the final drive after Dolphins cornerback Keion Crossen pulled Claypool back from the waist before the ball arrived.
Those responsible missed it.
“After I saw it on the (video) board, it was definitely (pass-through),” Fields said. “surely.”
Claypool added, “Justin threw a good ball to give me a chance. I felt like I was holding back a little bit. But you still have to try to fight through that.”
And yes, on the twenty-eighth and final pass of the day, receiver Equanimeous St.
But if Bears fans want Fields to be their quarterback forever, they can’t be allergic to nuance or constructive criticism when it comes to evaluating the sophomore quarterback and the attack he leads.
Over time, if the bears are to enjoy the legitimate hopes of heroism, the fields will have to become capable of doing more damage as a corridor. He threw for just 123 yards on Sunday, the eighth time in nine games this season that he’s been held under the 200.
Fields also had 10 bend and run defenses against dolphins. These are symptoms of a transient attack that still isn’t working the way it’s supposed to – for a number of reasons.
Fields reckons his abilities as a runner are special and often astonishing. There were moments on Sunday when Dolphins’ defenders looked like third graders trying to catch a rabbit in the garden.
“He’s as fast as any skill center runner,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel Saud said. “As is really really fast. It can cut and break interventions. There are a lot of midfielders. This one in particular is very elite and interested in that.”
Even in a loss, Fields’ brightest moments kept Chicago’s fountain of hope flowing. For now, this is important.
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