Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields did not have the game he likely envisioned on Sunday.
The team as a whole dealt with myriad self-inflicted wounds. But, in Fields’ estimation, it was not because of the limited playing time he and the rest of the Bears’ starters saw in the preseason.
“Nah, that has no correlation,” Fields said after the game. “I could see if it was during the play. But we should be able to get on the ball and run the play without false starting. So, it’s just self-inflicted stuff, and simple stuff that we can fix. It’s nothing major. It’s just the little stuff that we can fix and that we have to be detailed on each and every play.”
Justin Fields: Bears ‘Have to Be Detailed’
Bears’ Poor Performance Leads to ‘Tough’ Loss
The Bears committed seven penalties for 61 total yards. But they won that battle, with Green Bay committing nine penalties for 90 yards.
Still, Packers quarterback Jordan Love nearly tripled Fields’ preseason snaps.
Bears head coach Matt Eberflus acknowledged that a lack of preseason exposure could have hindered the team. He also made note of the various injuries they dealt with over the summer. Those undoubtedly made playing the starters difficult.
Fields has 26 career starts compared to just two for Love. This is despite the Packers’ QB entering the league a year earlier. But Love also has far more experience in the system. And it is the same system that birthed the one Fields is trying to master. Perhaps that played into it. The Bears believe they beat themselves as much as the Packers did.
“They weren’t doing anything special,” Khalil Herbert said. “We’re shooting ourselves in the foot on first down backing us up. It’s just a lot of mental errors on our part that we gotta clean up.”
Like teammate Eddie Jackson and many others, Herbert noted how “tough” of a loss this was.
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The Bears will now go on the road for their next two matchups. In Week 3 they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are coming off an upset victory over the Minnesota Vikings. And, in Week 4, they travel to face the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes.
Bears Bit the Bullet in Preseason
Regardless of whether or not they all agree, partially agree, or not at all with the notion, the preseason would have afforded the Bears’ starters to get acclimated with one another. Instead, left tackle Braxton Jones drew four flags, twice with false starts. And rookie right tackle Darnell Wright drew a flag for the same infraction.
Players and coaches noted during training camp that the Bears were working through multiple cadences as similar issues were popping up.
The Bears had 18 false starts all of last season with Jones leading the way with five, per The Football Database.
Those things are certainly the types of issues they can fix simply by practicing and playing together more. And the newer preseason format with three games instead of four adds another layer of complexity for the coaching staff and front office.
Chicago pushed the new vibe in the building at Halas Hall, right down to their season-opening matchup against their most hated rival after an aggressive offseason saw them revamp both sides of the ball. They won’t get much time to work through their issues without consequence, though.