Dec 24, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) scores a touchdown against thee Arizona Cardinals during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
LAKE FOREST — It’s that time of the year when people begin setting new goals for themselves.
The Chicago Bears are also doing the same thing. With two regular season games left, Jaylon Johnson told reporters on Wednesday that the defense is “due for a shutout.”
The offense, meanwhile, has a new goal every week.
“I mean we have one every game,” Justin Fields said on Wednesday. “We try to put up at least 28 points a game. That usually gets it done for our defense. Usually you put up 28 points, take care of the ball, and execute on third down and gold zone, yeah should have a good game. But of course you don’t want to put a cap on that number to however many points you can score or want to score. But yeah, we go in with a goal every game to at least score 28 points.”
Through 16 games, the offense has met that 28-point goal three times: against the Broncos, Commanders and Lions.
So there is clearly more work to be done for the offense to become more consistent with reaching their goal as a unit.
Fields also shared that he has an individual goal that he tries to uphold for each game.
“I think Flus talked to me about it three or four (weeks) — he talked about it before I came back, actually,” Fields said. “He gave me a thing that said, ‘200,’ which is two touchdowns, no sacks, no turnovers. That’s pretty much my goal every game. Sacks, they put us behind the sticks of course, and you never want to turn the ball over to give the other team a short field. So definitely trying to avoid the turnovers and sacks.”
Fields has not had a game this season where he hasn’t taken a sack, but he has reached the two-touchdown mark in five games and zero interceptions in four games.
Bears coach Matt Eberflus also praised Fields on Wednesday for limiting the sacks and interceptions he has taken since he returned from his dislocated right thumb. In Fields’ last five games, he has been sacked 12 times. Before the injury against Minnesota in Week 6, Fields was sacked 23 times. The interceptions are also down from six in the first six weeks to three in the last five games, and two of those interceptions occurred off Hail Mary throws in the loss to the Browns.
This Bears offense will have an opportunity on Sunday against the Falcons to reach their desired goals. Atlanta’s defense is currently ranked in the bottom half in sacks (36) and turnovers (16), but the Falcons are ranked No. 6 in the league in points allowed per game (19.2).
Plenty of people set goals with the right intentions, but many fail to consistently keep up with them over time. The Bears have lacked that consistency, but the team can end the 2023 season positively with these final two games.
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