The Chicago Bears start Week Two tied for first place in the division
Sunday’s win over the San Francisco 49ers is one the Chicago Bears should feel good about. The team fought a slow start and awful weather conditions to upset a 49ers team many national analysts are predicting will be a playoff team. The Bears proved to skeptics (Including myself) that this team can find ways to win games. Here are a few overreactions from the Bears’ victory Sunday.
Justin Fields looks looked like the best QB of the 2021 class
Fields outplayed Lance in the matchup Sunday. In the first half, Bears fans might have had doubts about the second-year quarterback from Ohio State. Fields passer rating was just 2.8 at halftime. Fields threw an ugly interception in the first quarter. It wasn’t the only poor decision he’d make on the day.
But in the second half, he willed the Bears to finish the game in a way I’ve only seen a Bears quarterback do via highlight tapes of Jim McMahon. Fields has no quit in him. His first touchdown of the season indicates that this guy is “the guy” for the Bears.
Lance’s mistakes cost the 49ers a chance to finish against the Bears. He wasn’t the only quarterback of the 2021 class who couldn’t get the job done Sunday. Mac Jones, Trevor Lawrence, and Davis Mills all failed to lead their teams to a win. Mills looked the best of the three, but a crucial fumble cost the Houston Texans a win. Their passing yard totals will show more yards than Fields or Lance, but they weren’t passing in a hurricane.
Khalil Herbert should be the Chicago Bears featured running back
Soldier Field should have been a showcase for expert run design for the Chicago Bears because of the heavy rain and slip-and-slide conditions.
— NFL (@NFL) September 11, 2022
But David Montgomery struggled in the running game. (Though he was prominent in the Bears’ passing attack.) Montgomery finished the game with 26 yards rushing on 17 carries. That’s a lame 1.5 yards per rush. He had the worst yards per rush average of any player (Bears or 49ers) on the field.
Khalil Herbert provided a boost when he was in the Bears’ backfield. He finished with nine carries for 45 yards and a game-icing touchdown. His five yards per rush average beat out Montgomery by 3.5 yards per rush. Herbert’s performance should signal to the Bears coaching staff that he needs more carries. The Bears should have eclipsed 100 yards of rushing in this game, and Montgomery wasted his attempts.
The Chicago Bears will be a wild card contender late in the season
I had the Bears upsetting the 49ers in my early predictions write-up in May. The Bears were able to outlast an inexperienced Lance and the 49ers in a sloppy opening season game. Let’s not sugarcoat it; the Bears were awful in the first half. The offense was a liability. The defense gave up a lot of chunk plays that against more savvy offensive units would have put the Bears in a hole they couldn’t have gotten out of.
But credit has to go to the Bears’ defense for making plays to keep the 49ers from scoring. Cornerback Jaylon Johnson’s “Peanut Punch” kept the 49ers from likely scoring a touchdown on the 49ers’ opening drive. Rookie defensive end Dominique Robinson’s sack plays (the second sack was split between Robinson and linebacker Roquan Smith) kept the 49ers from kicking a field goal in the first half and kept them out of the endzone in the second half.
So yes, the Chicago Bears could have been blown out in this game easily. But more importantly, they weren’t, and the team showed us that they’re not going to fold over easily. The Bears might have won with the benefit of the rain storm, but it’s much better than losing in it. And I don’t think the 2021 Bears under Nagy go 1-0 here.
The Bears look well on their way to beating the 6.5 win over/under total. An already easy schedule got a whole lot easier Sunday night. The Bears’ week eight opponent, the Dallas Cowboys, received a significant blow in their loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their quarterback, Dak Prescott, needs thumb surgery and will be out for a while. That could be another win for the Bears and another preseason wild card contender that will be down for the count.
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