UA-59049186-1 2022 Week 3: Chicago Bears 23, Houston Texans 20 - Good if it Goes

2022 Week 3: Chicago Bears 23, Houston Texans 20

He saw the tweets. [Photo: Michael Reaves, Getty Images]

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.

So have you given up on Fields?

I mean, kinda, yeah. Look, it’s still early in the season. But he’s shown nothing thus far in the season to make anyone besides the sunniest optimist/biggest homer believe that he’s an NFL quarterback. Coming out of college, the questions about him were processing speed and ability to handle complex defenses. He’s failing on both counts right now. And badly. If his first read isn’t open, he has to actually see his guy come open before he throws the ball and he’s taking too long to get through those reads and then he’s still not getting them right. Case in point: on the throw to Mooney that got picked, both St. Brown and Pettis were open on corner routes. You can’t blame the coach anymore; yeah, Nagy’s offense sucked and wasn’t really even a system so much as it was just a bunch of stand-alone plays. But he’s gone now. Getsy’s doing his job. Again, both outside guys were open. If Fields anticipates it correctly, he hits a hole shot to one of them and we’re off and running. He’s got to understand this isn’t college anymore and he can’t just wait for Chris Olave to beat some future accountant and get wide open. Now, there’s still 14 games left this year, but with the Bears having roughly a gorillion dollars in cap space going into next year, you need to be sure Fields is the guy – you can’t invest that kind of money around a question mark at the most important position. So if you’re anything less than 100% sure Fields is The Guy, he isn’t, and you need to proceed as such.

Don’t get me wrong, I hope he turns it around because having The Guy in place at QB and spending $Texas this offseason building around him and having contending aspirations next year sounds a whole lot more fun than spending the next six months trying to convince myself that Jimmy Garoppolo is actually a good idea, or that Bryce Young’s size won’t be an issue in the NFL, or that Anthony Richardson’s inconsistency isn’t a problem because Justin Herbert was the same way in college and now he looks like a bona-fide Dude. A guy on Twitter brought up the idea of taking a page out of the Dolphins’ playbook and spending the money building around Fields to see what they really have. I’ve heard worse ideas, but the problem with this is that you risk setting next year on fire when you could be seriously competing. If it doesn’t work, you’re committing to a year of growing pains in 2024 with a rookie QB who you probably had to spend quite a bit of draft capital to trade up for, because even if Fields isn’t The Guy, there should be enough talent on next year’s team to win 8 or so games. So then you’re looking at not seriously trying to contend until 2025 and at that point, you’re better off just signing Jimmy G this offseason and trying to put a team around him.

How about some good news?

The run game was awesome despite not having much of a passing game, Montgomery getting hurt, Patrick grading out poorly, and Mustipher grading out Mustipherly. Seriously, one more game like this out of him and I’m changing his name to Catholic School Hroniss Grasu. Anyway, if this is what the run game looks like when teams don’t fear the pass, imagine what the offense will look like with even a competent passing attack.

Hello, Roquan.

Yep. Dominant. Part of it was the fact that the edge defenders weren’t total disasters at setting the edge and didn’t leave the linebackers out to dry quite as much, part of it was just him seeming to get more comfortable in this new defense. Outside backer is not a simple position in the Tampa-2. This is why Coach Flus has him there. It is also why you should not listen to anyone who asserts that it’s not a “premium position.” Anyway, yeah, he was all over the place against the run and his pick effectively won the Bears the game. Once again, Ryan, pay the man before Devin White makes him that much more expensive.

And the rest of the defense?

Eddie Jackson looks like 2018 Eddie Jackson. Jaquan Brisker looks like he’s going to be a capital-D Dude. Kyler Gordon has shown some flashes that make you believe that he’ll be a player in time. They need one cornerback between free agency and the draft and then they can focus their resources up front. It’s not hard to see this being an elite defense next year.

What does this mean going forward?

Brian Daboll has the Giants looking not dreadful so far. He’s kinda in the same spot we are – good running game, some nice pieces, but you can’t trust the QB. Jaylon Johnson looks to be out again Sunday, but even so, I’m not worried about Daniel Jones. I am worried about Saquon Barkley and the looks Don Martindale is going to throw at Justin Fields. The Giants are on a slightly shorter week, having played on Monday against Dallas, so we’ve got that going for us.

Monsters

Roquan, BoJack, Herbert, Brisker, Whitehair, Kmet, Blasingame

Chipmunks

Mustipher, Fields, Patrick, Watts

Four Stars of the Game

4star Roquan Smith

3star  Eddie Jackson

2star  Khalil Herbert, Cody Whitehair. Both men get 2 because you can’t have one without the other.

1star Cole Kmet

Twitter: @KevinSports312

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