The loss to the Atlanta Falcons was hard to watch. At one point, the Chicago Bears held the lead 17-7. Unfortunately, a series of mistakes in all three phases led to them falling 27-24. Most of the blame falls on the defense and special teams. Cordarrelle Patterson had a kick return touchdown that completely changed the momentum of the game in the first half. Then the defense allowed a six-minute drive that ended in a field goal, allowing the Falcons to take the lead after the offense had tied it. Everybody with common sense can see where the blame should go. Justin Fields doesn’t see it that way.
The 23-year-old quarterback had another good game on Sunday. He amassed over 280 yards, scored two touchdowns, and scored 24 points. His sole efforts in the 4th quarter allowed Chicago to tie the game 24-24. The defense wasted it. However, Fields didn’t see it that way. According to Albert Breer of the MMQB, the quarterback felt the defense had done its job holding Atlanta to a field goal. He got the ball back with 1:47 left and three timeouts. The opportunity was there to win the game. He didn’t do the job.
So after the game, despite being in significant pain from a shoulder injury, he stood up in the locker room and apologized to the defense.
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Justin Fields is now the unquestioned leader.
People talk about his athleticism and his arm strength all the time. Not enough people understand how vital it is for the quarterback to be a great leader. The best ones deflect the credit when things are going well and accept blame when things are going bad. Joe Montana was famous for that. Fields is one of those guys and it’s no wonder his teammates sing his praises at every opportunity. The guy is not only keeping them in games with his outstanding play, but he’s also holding everybody accountable. Including himself.
Here is a guy taking a beating out there. He battles through the pain to give his team a chance to win. The defense can’t protect the lead. Then a series of question play calls lead to an interception. Rather than complain and point fingers, Justin Fields put it on himself. Not the offensive line for iffy protection. Not the receivers for separation issues. Not even the defense for constant breakdowns late in games. He must be better. That willingness to shoulder the blame is how you get guys on your side, get them to play hard for you.
This team is in great hands.