LAKE FOREST — The Bears have been an offensive juggernaut the last three weeks.
You can file that under sentences you never thought you’d read. Following the loss to the Washington Commanders, the coaching staff had 11 days to reevaluate and alter the offensive game plan to accentuate the strengths of the team.
“We started to really look at ourselves and do a good job of self-scouting during that mini-bye,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said on Wednesday at Halas Hall. “The coaches looked at maximizing skill sets of our players, not only Justin’s but other skill sets that we have and minimizing what we need to minimize.
” Every group in the NFL has to do that. I thought we did a really good job of that study and then working into that really into the games and looking at some different things that people are doing around the league with quarterbacks that can run the ball.”
Those self-corrections after scoring just seven points against Washington have led to Justin Fields playing the best football of his young NFL career and winning the NFC Player of the Week award for his four-touchdown performance against Miami. Over the past three games, the second-year quarterback has accounted for nine touchdowns (six passing and three rushing), only one turnover (an interception) and 773 yards of total offense.
This revamped offense has also mitigated the hits Fields has taken. In the last three weeks, Fields has only been “hit” four times, according to Pro Football Reference. That’s a polar opposite of the Washington Commanders game in which the defense hit Fields eight time.
And Fields credits the game against New England for starting the turnaround for the offense.
“It was awesome,” Fields said. “I think it catapulted the style of offense we put in since the mini bye. Seeing that happen in the game, I think it really gave us confidence in that and really just opened it up for everybody.”
Against the Patriots, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy made it a focus to implement designed quarterback runs. Fields ran for 82 yards and a touchdown in the 33-14 victory on Monday Night Football and star edge rusher Matthew Judon said after the game, “we kinda had no answer for him.”
Two weeks later, Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel jokingly told Fields on the sideline to “stop it” as he ran all over Miami’s defense for 178 yards – a new record for a quarterback in the regular season.
Fields, of course, won’t take all the credit for the offense’s ascension or his award, but he points to the tailored plays from Getsy, his growth in the offense and overall comfortability for his personal elevation in play.
“It’s an honor of course to get the NFC Player of the Week, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches,” Fields said. “I’m not the type to get too high on one award. Just the same old me. I’m going come back to work today, practice hard with my guys and we’re just going to get better.”
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