It was a forgettable afternoon for the Chicago Bears who marched into Cleveland to take on the Browns with the hopes of pulling off an upset with rookie quarterback Justin Fields making his first NFL start. After an opening possession that put the Bears on the board with a field goal, Chicago’s offense struggled to get anything going throughout the rest of the afternoon.
The running game wasn’t working. The Bears’ offensive line couldn’t block either. Cleveland’s defense totaled nine sacks, with Fields going just 6-for-20 and 68 yards passing, averaging a porous 3.4 yards per attempt. The only silver lining was the Bears’ defense, which sacked Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield five times as pass rushers Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack combined for 3.5 total sacks.
Fields struggles were apparent and as a rookie, 68 yards shouldn’t define his entire afternoon but after the Bears still have a lot of work to do. much of which revolves around Fields. Before week 4, the Bears need to do some serious self-reflection. The offensive line needs to be better. The playcalling needs to be catered to Fields’ skillset. Figuring out the running game and scheming wide receivers open wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
Don’t blame Fields for the Bears’ struggles but blame head coach Matt Nagy for not moving the pocket more, using Fields legs to create opportunities. The Bears need to use more play-action as a way of ensuring that wide receivers are able to get open, giving Fields time to make plays.
The Bears’ best plays of the afternoon included a 16-yard run by David Montgomery, 11-yard completion to Cole Kmet, and an 18-yard pass to wide receiver Allen Robinson. Chicago also punted on five straight possessions and came away with just three points in the second half.
What’s next for the Bears? A home game against the 0-3 Detroit Lions with an opportunity to get back to .500 by the end of week 4. The Bears have a lot of work to do and Sunday’s loss against the Browns proved that there is more than just the quarterback position that needs to be fixed on the Bears’ offense.