Review of Justin Fields, offense, defense on Eagles loss

Figures for Fields, offense, defense in Bears vs. Eagles loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

CHICAGO — Look up valiant effort or moral victory in the dictionary and you’ll probably see a picture of the 2022 Bears.

Head coach Matt Eberflus’ team has been a thorn in the side of teams with far more talent, but it hasn’t managed to make the game-winning plays it takes to get upset. That was the case again on Sunday as the Bears battled the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field for 60 minutes, eventually falling 25-20.

The Bears missed wide receivers Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool and N’Keal Harry. They lost to even-tempered St. Brown and Teven Jenkins on the game’s opening drive.

But the Bears’ defense flipped the Eagles three times, and quarterback Justin Fields made enough plays to keep the Bears within striking distance.

In the end, the Eagles’ talent won out as the Bears dropped their seventh straight game.

Here’s the report after another one-score loss for the Bears:

Pass violation

Despite missing four of his best weapons and his best offensive lineman, Fields delivered another efficient passer performance. He went 14-for-21 for 152 yards and two touchdowns and didn’t turn the ball over.

The Eagles defense kept it all to themselves, leaving Fields to drive the ball down the field without the big play advantage.

The Bears offensive line struggled against Philadelphia’s vaunted passing rush. Tackle Braxton Jones and guard Cody Whitehair specifically had a rough day against the Eagles’ stunts.

Fields was sacked six times on Sunday, but did an excellent job of making something out of nothing under pressure. His internal clock has yet to improve at times, but it’s hard to blame him given the short card game he played on Sunday.

Digit: B

Hasty offense

Fields again led the Bears in Sunday’s rush. The sophomore quarterback ran for 95 yards on 15 carries. With those 95 yards, Fields became the third quarterback in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, joining Lamar Jackson and Michael Vick.

After the game, Fields said he hopes to break Jackson’s NFL record of 1,206 rushing yards this season, but doesn’t want to make a habit of running over 1,000 yards.

Running back David Montgomery rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. He remains a steady force on the ground while his backfield mate Khalil Herbert is out.

The Bears’ run play was solid against a solid Eagles defensive front on Sunday, but Fields’ leg game play raises their level here.

Digit: B-

Pass defense

The Bears’ secondary picked out Jalen Hurts twice on Sunday. That’s the good thing.

They also gave up 315 meters through the air. AJ Brown caught nine passes for 181 yards and DeVonta Smith caught five passes for 126.

Jaylon Johnson had many fine moments regarding Brown, but also conceded a 68-yard pass late in the fourth quarter.

The Bears’ front seven again struggled to put pressure on the quarterback. Linebacker Joe Thomas recorded the team’s lone sack and quarterback hit of the day.

Grade: D+

Execute defense

The Bears’ defense has been a problem this season, but it was solid on Sunday.

They held 1,000-yard rusher Miles Sanders to 42 yards on 11 carries. Hurts rushed for 61 yards and three touchdowns, including a 22-yarder late in the first half that was the product of a Jaquan Brisker error.

Philadelphia made a concerted effort to attack the Bears via air on Sunday. But when the Eagles went to ground, the Bears’ defense held up well.

Digit: B+

Special teams

We then had a missed point, an illegal formation on the opening kickoff, and a 58-yard kickoff by Boston Scott.

On the plus side, Trenton Gill hit three punts within 20.

Not so special.

Digit: D+

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