The Chicago Bears had the NFL’s second-best rushing attack coming into their tilt on Monday Night Football. They left out with the best of them all. So, it wasn’t necessarily a renewed commitment to the ground attack that led to their rolling up 243 yards on the ground against the New England Patriots.
But they did alter their approach to that dedication that also had them fourth in attempts going into that game and sitting in second place now.
After the game, quarterback Justin Fields – who had a career-high 14 carries for 82 yards – provided a little insight into how the Bears took advantage of their bye week. He also revealed from where they drew inspiration for the shift.
Justin Fields, Bears Inspired by Lamar Jackson’s Ravens
Bears Highlight Fields’ Strengths
After the Bears’ narrow 12-7 loss to the Washington Commanders at home on Thursday Night Football, head coach Matt Eberflus said he would use the break to reassess everything. That included the lineup after miscues cost them back-to-back games late. It also included their offensive scheme that had ranked 28th in yards per game
That was mostly thanks to a moribund passing attack that still ranks 30th in touchdowns and dead last in attempts and yards.
What was the solution to generating offense and, in some ways, hiding the quarterback and line? The Bears were inspired by one of the most unique players in league history: former NFL MVP and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
“It just brings another whole element to our offense, stealing some plays from the Ravens,” Fields said after the game. “Yup-yup-yup. We got a couple of ones from them.” (h/t Mark Grote/670 The Score)
It certainly worked.
The NFL can be a fickle place as the Chicago Bears know all too well. Just a week ago they were under fire for dropping a close game at home against the Washington Commanders in primetime. Flash forward just 11 days and, while perhaps not fully sold just yet, folks are coming around to, not only quarterback Justin Fields but also the people in charge of getting the Bears out of misery.
And it’s all because they went into Foxboro and exorcised a laundry list of demons – some not even their own – and took down Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football with a 33-14 final tally.
It was a game that showcased the best of all three phases for a team that had previously gotten in its own way more often than not coming in.
No one embodied that more than the Bears’ second-year passer.
Robert Griffin III, Clay Harbor Sound Off on Bears’ Justin Fields
Bears, Justin Fields’ Big Day
Former NFL tight end-turned-analyst Clay Harbor took to Twitter to highlight a sequence by Fields. It was in the first quarter. The Bears led by three points and were already nearing the red zone around New England’s 34-yard line. In the first half of the clip, Fields goes through his reads before coming back to find former Patriot N’Keal Harry in the middle of the Field.
He followed that up with a scramble that saw him get down quickly rather than risk taking a big hit trying to fight for extra yardage.
After a David Montgomery run on the ensuing play, Fields took it himself for a three-yard score.
That put the Bears up 10-0. But they were far from in the clear as the Patriots scored back-to-back touchdowns following a change at quarterback from Mac Jones to Bailey Zappe and an interception from Fields.
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