Justin Fields had a rather forgettable afternoon against the Kansas City Chiefs. There were some predictable mistakes. He looked like a young quarterback in a new offense. However, it wasn’t overly bad. There was one big moment that got the crowd buzzing. It came when he fired a 26-yard strike to Darnell Mooney. He placed the ball to where only his receiver could go up and get it. A pretty play that was likely a portent of things to come.
What made the play even better is Mooney didn’t make the catch using his speed. Instead, it was his body control, strong hands, and leaping ability to beat the cornerback for the ball. That is what top wide receivers are expected to do. That is what Fields needs more of from his weapons. While nobody can say for sure how good this tandem will be in 2022, it is evident already that they are in sync.
Justin Fields needs somebody other than Mooney to step up.
That is the question the team is trying to solve. They drafted Velus Jones and signed a litany of veterans, including Byron Pringle, Tajae Sharpe, and Dante Pettis. They also traded for N’Keal Harry. They no doubt hope one of them ends up becoming a strong contributor. It looks like Sharpe is somebody to watch since he had an even better catch later in the quarter, stabbing a Fields pass with one hand despite good coverage.
Just an unbelievable catch from Tajae Sharpe 😳 #DaBears
— NFL (@NFL) August 13, 2022
The bigger issue might be the offensive line. Justin Fields can’t hit any of these receivers if he’s constantly running for his life. Kansas City put lots of pressure on him, confirming many fears about the Bears’ front five. Granted, they were playing without projected starters Lucas Patrick and Riley Reiff. Still, it’s a problem. Fields to Mooney can’t be fully unlocked without decent pass protection. One can only hope it gets better.