Justin Fields’ belief points are holding the Bears’ passing sport again


Belief points can affect us all.

Nevertheless, it may be harder to kind by way of them on a nationwide stage, when massive males try to trigger you bodily hurt.

The Chicago Bears are 2-1 by way of three weeks of the NFL season, which is an effective factor. However the wins may need come regardless of their passing sport, and second-year quarterback Justin Fields. Chicago’s win over the San Francisco 49ers got here in troublesome climate circumstances, and on Sunday in opposition to the Houston Texans, the Bears racked up practically 300 yards on the bottom.

Whereas Fields accomplished 8 of 17 passes for 106 yards and a pair of interceptions.

Proper now, the second-year quarterback is coping with some belief points, points that have been on show Sunday in opposition to the Texans. Fields is struggling to belief what is going on in entrance of him, what is going on within the secondary and in the end, what is going on inside himself.

The problems popped up early within the sport. On Chicago’s first drive of the sport, the Bears confronted a third and 9 at their very own 36-yard line. They empty the formation with Fields within the shotgun, and dial up a Smash idea to the fitting facet of the formation. Dante Pettis runs the short hitch route, whereas Equanimeous St. Brown runs the deep nook route:

Now, the Bears choose up 29 yards on this third down, as Fields makes an extremely athletic play to maneuver the chains along with his legs. However when it comes to his course of from the pocket, he has each the hitch route and the deeper nook route open.

However he pulls the ball down:

As you possibly can see right here, as Fields hits his drop depth within the pocket and begins to climb, he’s wanting in that course. Each routes are open. He may be aggressive and goal the deeper nook route, or he can throw beneath to Pettis and belief him to make a play:

As an alternative, he trusts his legs, and creates as a runner. It goes for a 29-yard acquire, however these are the sorts of moments the place you’d like to see Fields belief himself to make this throw.

Later within the drive, Fields offers with belief problems with one other kind.

Within the safety in entrance of him.

The Bears name for a play-action design, however as Fields comes out of the run faux and begins to throw, he resets within the pocket, and the window closes on him:

There’s a window for Fields to hit St. Brown early within the down, because the receiver runs a dig route from the fitting facet of the sector. However Fields senses the blitz on the left facet, and as a substitute of entering into the throw, he steps out of his throwing stance, sliding and resetting within the pocket.

That delay permits the beneath linebacker, who had come downhill in response to the run motion, to retreat into the throwing lane. Now Fields has to attend on St. Brown to cross the sector, permitting the cornerback in man protection to get well and shut on St. Brown. It turns into a harder throw, and it in the end falls incomplete.

Fields’ first interception is likely to be an instance of him attempting to do an excessive amount of with a throw. Chicago appears to assault downfield, with St. Brown working a vertical route on the left facet of the sector whereas Pettis goes deep alongside the fitting sideline. Tight finish Cole Kmet assaults the center of the sector:

With the safeties dropping right into a two-deep protection — wanting like Quarter-Quarter-Half with the Quarters facet of the sector in direction of Pettis — attacking between the safeties with Kmet is the primary choice, as Fields said after the sport. However as a substitute of placing the throw on him, he tries to make the proper throw, and it sails on to security Jalen Pitre:

Making issues worse is the truth that in case you look alongside the left facet of the sector, St. Brown is open.

After the sport, Fields discussed this play and mentioned he simply missed the throw. “The Cole Kmet cross, I simply sailed it, it was there … he (St. Brown) was certainly one of my reads however Cole Kmet was my first choice and I simply missed it.”

The belief points continued into the second quarter. The Bears opened the quarter dealing with a 2nd and 10, and so they emptied the backfield with Fields within the shotgun. He took the snap and opened to the left facet, the place the Bears provided him a dig route with somewhat curl route beneath it. With Houston dropping into zone protection, the curl route is offered to him.

As an alternative, even with time within the pocket, Fields appears at it after which pulls the ball down, earlier than he’s finally sacked:

Right here, the belief challenge would possibly once more be with what is going on up entrance. The left facet of the offensive line is beginning to crack and stress is coming off that edge, however there’s a window for Fields to step into this throw, take the brief choice, and get Chicago right into a manageable third-down scenario.

As an alternative he runs into the sack. and the Bears would in the end punt on the finish of the possession.

Within the second half, the Bears seemed to throw simply 9 occasions.

However the belief points stay.

Take the second interception from Fields, which comes on a mirrored Smash idea with Darnell Mooney attacking the center of the sector on a seam route:

Whereas the Texans present stress up entrance, they rush simply 4, dropping right into a two-deep zone protection. With a pair of safeties deep, and linebacker Christian Kirksey attempting to cowl Mooney and carry his route vertically, concentrating on Mooney is the fitting determination.

However Fields wants to simply belief his eyes, his receiver, and the scenario. As an alternative, he tries to make the proper throw, and Pitre will get his second straightforward interception of the sport:

It is a nice instance of what some time period a “monument defender.” Kirksey is that defender, attempting to cowl Mooney whereas his again is to the quarterback. All Kirksey can actually defend on this scenario is the body of his physique, so what Fields must do is simply put this throw proper over his head and onto Mooney’s body.

As an alternative, he tries to be too excellent with the throw, and it sails over Mooney, and into Pitre’s ready arms.

Now, Bears followers would possibly say that there are causes for the shortage of belief Fields has proper now. Watching this sport, there are moments when Fields confronted some free rushers off the sting, or route ideas did not materialize correctly, or regardless of the heck that is:

Complicating issues additional is that that is Fields’ third offense in three years. Which isn’t a recipe for constructive quarterback improvement.

However studying to belief these round him — and to belief himself — is the most important step Fields could make proper now. He can belief his safety extra and step into throws, fairly than trying to pull the ball down. He can belief in his receivers to make performs downfield, akin to on the interception meant for Mooney.

Finally, he can belief in himself extra.

The earlier he does, the higher this passing sport will likely be.


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