Sunday, June 16, 2024

Bears’ Justin Fields expected to throw more going forward after completing just 15 passes in first two weeks

There’s no reason to fear if you’re a fan of the Chicago Bears or the forward pass. Justin Fields will be throwing more in Week 3, and in games moving forward.

Multiple sources have indicated to CBS Sports that the second-year quarterback will get more pass attempts today against the Houston Texans than in the first two weeks of the season. A series of unique circumstances have led to Fields getting few attempts and even fewer completions, but that shouldn’t be the case the next few weeks.

So far this season, Fields is 15-for-28 passing with 191 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He had eight completions against the 49ers in Week 1 and just seven last Sunday night against the Packers.

In an age where offensive football has never been so explosive, Fields’ lack of success through the air is an outlier. According to CBS Sports research, the last quarterback with 15 or fewer completions in his team’s first two games of the season — with no other player attempting a pass in those two games — was the Patriots‘ Matt Cavanaugh in 1982 (13).

One source said the Bears’ offensive staff is aware there needs to be more balance within their scheme. Another noted Fields must do his part in trusting his wide receivers in this new scheme and “letting it rip” a bit more. But there’s no indication out of Chicago there’s any loss of belief in Fields and his ability to throw the ball.

The Bears played the 49ers in a monsoon in Week 1 and were fortunate the rain held off more for them than San Francisco, allowing Chicago to have more success through the air. Against the Packers, the Bears had a run-heavy scheme that would hopefully kill time off the clock and keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers‘ hands as much as possible.

But Chicago only had 17 offensive plays in the first half and was met with a three-and-out coming out halftime. David Montgomery ran particularly well in the second half, carrying the ball 10 times for 89 yards, and the Bears wound up relying on his legs.

Though he’s attempted only 28 passes, Fields has 40 dropbacks, according to TruMedia. That includes seven scrambles and five sacks. The Bears have called more pass plays than what meets the eye.

“In terms of when we’re going to call a play, how many passes or runs, that’s [offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s] job,” Fields said Wednesday. “Everyone in the building knows that Luke knows what he’s doing. …Knowing that if these are the plays that he thinks are going to win us the game, then I’m all with it.”

Folks around the league pointed to Fields’ lack of playmakers at the wide receiver position as a reason for the lack of attempts and completions. The Bears don’t have a standout No. 1 receiver and the league knows that.

Chicago GM Ryan Poles has repeatedly said he’ll look to improve the roster throughout the season. The trade deadline is Nov. 1, and real trade chatter doesn’t normally begin until midway through October.

Getting a true No. 1 for Fields to throw to would allow Darnell Mooney to slide into the more comfortable No. 2 role. The Bears are still a team that will look to establish the run and develop its passing game off its run game with Fields’ mobility.

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