UA-59049186-1 2021 Week 2: Chicago Bears 20, Cincinnati Bengals 17 - Good if it Goes

2021 Week 2: Chicago Bears 20, Cincinnati Bengals 17

Now. [Photo: ESPN on Twitter]

Player Grades

The grading scale goes from -3 to +3 for each play. Screens are graded as runs. Penalties are counted in whatever phase they were committed. Pre- and post-snap penalties are in the “Misc.” column. “Short” throws are 10 yards or less, “Medium” is 10-20, “Deep” is over 20. Everything else (scrambles, throwaways, reads, etc.) is under “Miscellaneous.” Parentheses in a column denote grades/snaps from the opposite side of the ball and are not included in grades/snaps from the player’s usual side. Snap counts are from Pro Football Reference. Box score and other relevant info can be found at that link as well.

FIELDS!

You don’t want to hear about the defense bouncing back or another nice game from Monty?

NOPE! FIELDS!

Okay. Well, look – he’s a rookie. And he did some rookie things. Watching the game back, both throws to Mooney that were off his fingers were on Fields. The one on the crosser needed to be more toward the sideline. The one in the end zone never had a chance. It was a mesh concept. Fields did a good job going through his progression; he would’ve been well-served to do so a bit faster, but, again, rookie. He sees that A-Rob isn’t going to be open and looks Mooney’s way, but Vonn Bell reads his eyes and covers the route. He needed to come back to the middle of the field where he had Goodwin open. As he grows as a player, I’m sure he’ll get quicker at going through his reads and better at using his eyes to bait defenders.

Also, that pick can’t happen. Goodwin could’ve helped out by sitting down in his route since there was nothing but air around him until his route took him into the path of that linebacker dropping back. Regardless, Fields needs to see that and not throw that ball.

Now for the good news: most of his throws were really good. That deep ball to Robinson absolutely should’ve been caught and would’ve made his stat line look a lot better. He used his legs wisely. The stuff I dinged him on was largely on the mental side. That should get better over time. I had hoped that he’d have the chance to learn this stuff sitting behind Dalton instead of during live action, but here we are.

So…what about Dalton now?

Nagy said Dalton’s still the starter when he gets back. Nagy had to say that, though. If Fields plays lights-out in Cleveland, he’s still going to be the starter, so relax. Nagy said what he said so if Fields struggles, he can go back to Dalton without having to call it a benching like Miami did to Tua last year. As a bonus, he gets to say he kept his promise to Dalton and make it clear that this wasn’t 2017 all over again.

Okay, now we can talk about other stuff

The defense clearly saw your mean tweets. Four turnovers, one for a touchdown, and five sacks. An awfully impressive day. It got close at the end after Ja’Marr Chase torched Vildor and Jackson couldn’t quite get there and then the Bengals were able to cash in on the field position their defense gave them when they picked off Fields.

The CB thing just is what it is. CB2 and NB are going to be problem spots all year and Sean Desai’s going to need to mask those problems as best he can. Yeah, in hindsight, they should’ve found a way to keep Kyle Fuller. I understand wanting to keep Jimmy Graham, since they don’t have another receiving tight end, but Graham isn’t really doing anything right now anyway, so yeah, I’d rather have Fuller than him.

What does this mean going forward?

The Browns are banged up, but OBJ is good to go and the Bears are going to have to deal with Myles Garrett and Jadaveon Clowney. Fields’ speed could really be big here. Through two weeks, the Browns lead the league in offensive DVOA, so the defense is going to need another strong performance and they’ll have to do it without Eddie Goldman again and likely Tashaun Gipson, too. The safety’s dealing with a hamstring injury and is doubtful for Sunday.

Monsters

Roquan, Hicks, BoJack, Jaylon Johnson, Monty, Whitehair, Dalton, Quinn

Chipmunks

Mustipher, Vildor

Four Stars of the Game

4star Roquan Smith

3star  Jaylon Johnson

2star  Eddie Jackson

1star  David Montgomery, Robert Quinn, Andy Dalton, Akiem Hicks (All men get one full star because winning is fun.)

There was no week one post because I didn’t have the all-22 of the game. David Montgomery was excellent and deserves to have his performance reflected in the star chart. I’m going to grade the runs from that game to make sure I don’t short-change any offensive linemen, but that will probably have to wait until the bye week. (Watching the game live, nobody else stood out as a highly likely star recipient, so I’m only doing the runs.)

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

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