Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields does not agree with suggestions that his team’s passing game isn’t getting the job done for the team and disagreed with a reporter who questioned him over it following Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants.
Fields completed 11 of 22 passes for 174 yards against the Giants on Sunday en route to a 20-12 loss, marking the first game of the year in which he didn’t throw an interception. However, it also marked the third consecutive contest in which he failed to throw a single touchdown pass.
The Bears are now 2-2 on the back of the loss, with the Giants improving their start to 3-1, and are last in the NFL when it comes to passing yards, averaging just 97.5 per game. Fields has 471 passing yards, which puts him 31st in the league, while his 50.7 completion rate puts him at No.32.
Meanwhile, the Bears have been running the ball very well, posting 177.3 yards per game, good for third in the league.
Despite not throwing a touchdown pass on Sunday, Fields made several good plays, one of which was a 56-yarder to Darnell Mooney in the first quarter of the game. He made up 52 of the team’s 149 total rushing yards too.
Quizzed on the Bears’ struggles with the air attack after the loss, the QB answered with a question.
“Who said the passing game wasn’t working?” he asked (H/T Heavy.com).
Upon being told that the numbers suggest as much, 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.”
Of course, the argument would have been a good one had the Bears won on Sunday. The two games that they have won this season were more down to the defense.
To be fair, Fields wasn’t so dismissive when asked whether he believes the Bears’ passing game could use some improvement if they are to stack up against the best teams in the NFL.
“For sure,” he admitted. “I think the run game and the passing game have to be good for us to compete with the good teams.”
Fields’ issues extend past his throwing of the football, as he has had lots of difficulties completing passes when under pressure. He’s already been sacked 16 times this season, making just five completions when facing pressure from opposing defenses. Having dropped back from the expected safety of the offensive line’s pocket on 49 occasions, he’s only managed the aforementioned five completions.
While the 23-year-old has taken plenty of hits so far this season, the quarterback claims he’s feeling a lot better than he used to after games when he was a rookie last year.
“I think I’ve done a good job compared to last year taking way less hits. I mean my body feels way better than after the games last year for sure,” he insisted.
“I think we’ve just got to be more consistent. Whether it’s me, whether it’s O-Line, whether it’s the receivers,” he continued. “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,” the Bears QB added.
Despite what Field might think of the Bears’ passing game, they aren’t doing enough to win games at the moment, and the team needs to throw a lot better than 100 passing yards a game in order to have any semblance of a meaningful season.
Fans will hope to see improvements on that front when the Bears play the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5. Chicago isn’t favored to win that one at 13/5 – the Vikings are 5/16 – but supporters will surely be looking to take on those odds, especially as reputable bookmaker BetMGM has come to Illinois.
The Bears have other things to worry about, though. The team lost its best offensive lineman against the Giants on Sunday, with left guard Cody Whitehair leaving the game with a knee injury.
Head coach Matt Eberflus confirmed that the player will miss time while speaking to reporters on Monday but would not say whether the player would be placed in the injured reserve, which would mean Whitehair would have to miss at least four games. The coach said he wouldn’t be divulging as much until Wednesday when he is obligated to report injuries.
In any case, Eberflus certainly expects Whitehair to play again this season.
The player’s absence could prove costly for Chicago given that he’s been their most consistent offensive lineman this term, especially as Fields has been struggling with protection all season.