CHICAGO — Standing on the dais after the game, still partially in uniform and with grass stains on his white pants, a sign of how many hits he took in Thursday night’s 12-7 loss to the Washington Commanders, the quarterback Bears field justin fields he expressed frustration at what resulted in Chicago losing three straight games while stumbling off a 2–4 start.
“They always tell us ‘we’re almost there, we’re almost there,'” Fields said. “Me, personally, I’m tired of being almost there. I’m tired of being so close. I feel like I’ve been listening to it for so long. At the end of the day, all you can do is go back to work. That’s the only reaction I can get.” you have. You live and you learn. Come back next week and keep going, keep getting better.”
The catalyst for the loss to the Commanders was Chicago’s inability to score in three trips inside the red zone, the second time that has happened in their last three games. The Bears also went 0-for-3 in the red zone during a 20-12 loss to the New York Giants in Week 4.
Fields threw an interception at the Washington 5-yard line on Chicago’s second drive of the game, which was the first red-zone selection of his career. On their next drive, the Bears got to the Commanders’ 1-yard line, thanks in part to a 64-yard run from Khalil Herbert on the first play from scrimmage. Herbert failed to hit the ball on a fourth-down run.
Chicago’s last trip into the red zone came on its final drive after Fields rushed for 39 yards, the longest run of his career. Facing fourth and 4 inside the 5-yard line, Fields threw a pass to Darnell Mooney, which hit the receiver in the chest as his body crossed the plane of the goal line. Mooney threw the ball and didn’t secure it until he dropped just below the end zone.
Repeated red zone issues produced a forceful response from the quarterback.
“When the play is there, make it,” Fields said. “Plain and simple. There’s no logistics. It’s not complicated. That’s when you get that chance, it’s over. It’s that simple. We just didn’t do that tonight. You don’t have to make it harder than it is, throw and catch.”
But one play ate up Fields’ postgame. In the Bears’ second red zone series, Fields and Ryan Griffin he failed to connect on second-and-3 from Washington’s 3-yard line when the veteran tight end was 4.05 yards apart, according to Next Gen Stats.
“The one that’s driving me crazy is Griff in the end zone,” Fields said. “He probably could have run a little more, but he’s wide open. I have to hit that. I’m an NFL quarterback. I have to hit that.”
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Bears are the second team this season to amass at least 390 yards of offense and fewer than 10 points in a game. Fields finished 14 of 27 for 190 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Mooney led the Bears in targets (12) and receptions (7) and finished second in receiving yards with 68.
Fields and the offense couldn’t follow up on a solid performance in the second half of a Week 5 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, where the quarterback had the Bears in position late after scoring 19 unanswered points.
Bears coach Matt Eberflus didn’t think Fields’ departure four days after losing to the Vikings was a step backwards.
“I think he took a step forward,” Eberflus said. “I really do.
“Because, the toughness. For me, the ability to take the ball and push it down at the end to give us a chance to win it, that was for me the thing that got better. Is that okay? Were there other times where we needed to clean up?” and the offense needs to clean up? Sure. But we had the drives down there and if we hit them, the game is a different game. It’s 21 points. So, for me, it was really inspiring to see him do that in the all the way, to knock us down and win it in the end. And again, we fell short. We have to do a better job next time.”
Statistically, Fields remains at the bottom of the NFL, ranking last in completion percentage (54.8%), off-target percentage (24.4%), sack percentage (13.5%) and pressure percentage (46.2%). His completion percentage over expectation (-10.7%) and interception percentage (4.3%) ranks 31st.
In all, the Bears have thrown 115 passes this season, the fewest by any team in six games since the 1982 Patriots.
Fields took several hard hits Thursday that made him slow to get up between plays. The quarterback said after the game that he aggravated an injury to his left shoulder, but did not specify whether the initial injury occurred against the Commanders or in a previous game.
Fields was pressured 18 times by Washington, tying a career high. The Bears quarterback has been pressured on 46% of his dropbacks this season, which is the highest rate of pressure a quarterback has faced through the first six games of a season since ESPN began tracking the pressures in 2009.
The Bears dealt with injuries to front left guard lucas patrick and right guard bitches jenkinswho lost time in the third quarter but then came back.
Asked if the Bears would need to reevaluate the offensive line during their mini bye week, Eberflus pointed to potential changes across the board.
“We are going to reassess everything,” Eberflus said. “Everything from the outline to the players, everything. We’re going to do a good job with it here. And we’re going to do a good job of really getting it to the players.”
“If it can be a lineup change or it can be technique, fundamentals, all of that, scheme, how are we executing certain plays, who are we giving the ball to, what are we doing right, what do we need to improve on.”