It’s not the job of the head coach to criticize his quarterback in public. Matt Eberflus knows this, even though nobody would’ve held it against him if he did so with Justin Fields. The quarterback was once again a liability on offense for the Chicago Bears. Most will point to his two back-breaking interceptions in the 4th quarter that squashed a potential comeback. He was a non-factor in the running game as well. Yet what stood out the most was his continued inability to get the ball out on time. Chicago gave up six sacks on the afternoon. There is a strong case to make that Fields was responsible for at least half of them.
Eberflus isn’t known for being emotional, but it wasn’t hard to see some frustration on his face when asked about his quarterback’s ongoing tendency to invite pressure by holding the ball. The most egregious came with three minutes left in the 2nd quarter. Chicago was just outside the red zone with 1st and 10. Fields got plenty of time from the offensive line and appeared to have Roschon Johnson wide open up the seam for an easy score. He somehow didn’t see it and took a three-yard sack. Two plays later, he took another, forcing the Bears to settle for a field goal.
Eberflus talked about it during his post-game presser.
Matt Eberflus has to make a decision soon.
It’s obvious something isn’t clicking for Fields. Some of the play calling has been suspect, but it’s also impossible to argue that the quarterback missed golden opportunities for big plays in this game. That is a running theme for him. Perhaps the Bears return to utilizing his legs more often, like last year. Either that, or they might have to start thinking about a change. It sounds crazy, but if the record reaches a certain point like 0-7 or 0-8, they might as well give rookie Tyson Bagent a look. He was sharp in the preseason.
It may sound desperate, but that’s where the Bears are. Matt Eberflus is now 3-16 as a head coach. There is a growing possibility he may not survive to reach a third season. He’s done everything he can to help Fields get over his struggles. It hasn’t worked. Eberflus will stay patient for the time being. He has no choice. Maybe the quarterback will turn the corner in the next few weeks. That feels less and less likely, though. If the Bears reach 0-5 or 0-6 by October, all bets are off.