Flus Gold

Bears win despite sloppy play and questionable decision making.

#1 Justin Fields/ by John L. Alexander



By Herb Howard


The Chicago Bears won’t apologize for their 23-20 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field. But they certainly don’t have anybody fooled about their week 3 performance, nor where they are in the process of developing this team into a legitimate contender.


Facing the winless Texans, the Bears started fast in front of their home crowd. Scoring on their first two drives, the Bears led 10-0 with 6:45 remaining in the first quarter. They would fail to gain a single first down on their next three drives, one of which ended when Justin Fields badly missed an open Cole Kmet, resulting in an interception. Fields acknowledged his inaccuracy on that interception, and described a later interception -on which he threw into double coverage- as being a bad decision. Assessing his overall performance on Sunday, Fields said he played like trash, admitting that he wanted to say he played like ass. However he chooses describe his outing, Justin knows he needs to improve. Asked what specifically he needs to get better at, he interrupted the question and said that he needs to improve on everything.


The young signal caller is in the unenviable position of learning his second offense in as many seasons. He’s doing so without elite level talent on the offensive line nor wide receiver. He’s also being directed by a first-time offensive coordinator. All of that gives some reasoning for his struggles. None of it excuses them. He must play better. For the Chicago Bears, this season is as much -if not more- about identifying players that can be building blocks for the future, as it is about winning games. Chief among those prospects is QB1 Justin Fields. By season’s end, the Bears must definitively know whether or not Fields is capable of leading this franchise to a Super Bowl. In order to do that, the Bears must take advantage of every opportunity that arises to put Justin in positions to prove what he can or cannot do. head coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy did not do that on Sunday.


If you ask the coaches, they will tell you that they have complete trust in Justin Fields but their actions are telling a different story. Down 14-13, the Bears had the ball at their own 28yd line, with 40 seconds remaining in the first half, and all three of their timeouts. They elected not to try and drive for points. Opting instead to allow the clock to run out,

unwilling to allow Justin to throw the ball down the field.


Not only were the Bears losing when they made this decision, but the Houston Texans were receiving the ball to begin the second half. No coach that believes in his quarterback would choose to sit on the ball in that situation. You only do that if you believe that more harm than good could come from you attempting to get in position for a field goal.


The Bears formula for winning is definitely to run the ball offensively and play stingy, opportunistic defense but they also must develop Justin Fields. You cannot constantly say that his development simply comes down to reps and game experience but never give him the opportunities to experience the game situations where he can actually

develop.


One thing this Bears team knows for sure is that they will fight for four quarters. They did that once again on Sunday. With the game hanging in the balance, All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith made the game-deciding play. With 1:13 remaining and the score tied at 20, Houston was looking to drive down the field for a game winning score when Smith intercepted a Davis Mills pass at the 30yd line and returned it 18 yards, setting the Bears up with the ball at Houston’s 12yd line. From there, Bears kicker Cairo Santos would hit the game winning field goal as time expired.


#58 Roquan Smith/ by John L. Alexander



Wins are hard to come by in the National Football League. This Bears team will certainly take them however they come. They did do some good things in the game, rushing for 281 yards on offense and taking the ball away twice defensively. Finishing Sunday’s game with more points than the winless Houston Texans didn’t fool me into ignoring their poor play on the field and questionable decision making on the sideline. I hope they didn’t fool themselves either.