Looking at his overall body of work, it would be easy to decry how bad Justin Fields has been in 2022. He has more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (4) and is well below 60% completed passes. Yet that only tells you the critics haven’t been watching the games. Yes, Fields has made his share of mistakes. Still, nobody watching the Chicago Bears would suggest he’s the biggest problem with this offense. That is an ongoing debate between the offensive line (has allowed 23 sacks in six games) and the wide receivers (8th in drop rate).
After Chicago’s Thursday night loss to the Washington Commanders, former quarterback Trent Dilfer seemed especially irritated by the receivers. From the way he spoke on 670 The Score with Parkins & Spiegal, they were the ones that ruined what should’ve been a signature comeback win for Fields. He graded every throw by the quarterback in that game, and his final two were arguably his best. Dante Pettis and Darnell Mooney squandered both of them.
Justin Fields can’t do everything himself.
The past two weeks have shown the harsh truth everybody feared. Fields doesn’t have help. A strong case can be made that eight of the Bears’ current 11 starters would be backups on most other teams. Only David Montgomery, Mooney, and Teven Jenkins have looked like they do enough to justify the jobs they hold, yet even Mooney can’t be trusted to make plays in big moments. That is the dire situation the Bears are in.
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People blame GM Ryan Poles for this mess. The hard truth is this mess began well before he arrived in January. Ryan Pace was awful at accumulating offensive talent during his tenure between 2015 and 2021. Poles was left to inherit the destruction he left behind. He had limited spending money, no 1st round pick, and ran a team coming off an ugly losing season. So the best free agents wouldn’t be drawn to Chicago.
It was an almost unwinnable situation. Poles did his best, signing veteran Byron Pringle and trading for N’Keal Harry. Both quickly got hurt. He drafted Velus Jones in the 3rd round. He only just returned from a hamstring injury as well. Justin Fields has been throwing to mostly scrubs, and it’s a crying shame.