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Bears Have A Play-Calling Issue With Justin Fields

The 2023 season has been a bit of a mixed bag for Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields. The team hasn’t taken the strides some thought that they would, as they are 4-8 heading into a Week 13 bye.

Things have looked better, for the team, in recent weeks. They enter the bye victorious in two of out their last three games, with the loss coming at the hands of the Detroit Lions. Some better clock and late game management and the Bears would be riding a three-game winning streak, knocking on the door of a Wild Card spot in the NFC.

Their most recent victory over the Minnesota Vikings certainly wasn’t pretty, but it counts all the same. It was a 12-10 win, as the Bears made some NFL history with the victory. They defied the odds coming away victorious, which the team will be happy about.

NFL News & Rumors: Justin Fields & Chicago Bears Updates

However, there are some concerns that will need to be addressed during the bye week. Most importantly, what has happened with the play calling offensively? The Bears seemingly called a scarred game offensively, as they didn’t let Justin Fields push the ball down the field at all.

As Dave Kluge of FootballGuys put it, the play-calling for Chicago was unserious. 46 percent of Fields’ pass attempts in the game came at or behind the line of scrimmage. A game plan that conservative is not a recipe for success, as the Bears were lucky to get a win.

Sam Hoppen of Fantasy Pros shared another chart of Fields’ passing performance against the Vikings and it is truly eye-popping. There is a little discrepancy between his chart and Kluge’s, as Kluge had Fields completing one pass for 23 yards downfield. 

Hoppen’s chart doesn’t have that completion. According to his chart, Fields attempted one pass over 10 yards against the Vikings, an attempt for about 26 yards that went incomplete.

While there are certainly limitations to Fields’ passing game, which he has been working tirelessly to improve, his arm strength is not one of them. In fact, there are instances he may rely on his arm too much attempting to fit a ball into a tight space unnecessarily.

NFL News & Rumors: Justin Fields & Chicago Bears Updates

That kind of play-calling is something that will get people fired, especially if the team hadn’t come away with a win. Pushing the ball downfield is something the Bears need to make a more prominent part of their offense as they have the personnel to make dynamic plays.

This is exactly what they acquired wide receiver D.J. Moore for as part of the package from the Carolina Panthers. They wanted to see Fields be able to attack every level of the defense with confidence and Moore provides him with that.

This is a far cry from the performances Fields had earlier in the season before suffering a thumb injury. He lit up the Denver Broncos and Washington Commanders and that is what the team should be looking for more of. Fields is a talented player who seems to be being held back by some of the game plans the coaching staff is putting together.

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