UA-59049186-1 2022 Week 5: Chicago Bears 22, Minnesota Vikings 29 - Good if it Goes

2022 Week 5: Chicago Bears 22, Minnesota Vikings 29

Did all he could. [Photo: Getty]

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.

Justin Fields is better than Russell Wilson. Change my mind.

This week, he sure was. Look, you have to understand what Allbright’s doing here. He covers the Broncos. The Broncos passed on Fields in the draft last year. Then, this past summer, they traded a bunch of stuff to Seattle for the right to give a gorillion dollars to Russell Wilson who looks very washed. The Broncos and those who cover them need Fields to suck so this decision doesn’t look more terrible than it already does – Seattle has already won the trade. Why he doesn’t do this with Mac Jones, too, I have no idea. Stop taking the bait. Be glad Old Ryan didn’t make the mistake the Broncos did.

As far as the debate itself, look at what’s around each guy. Nathaniel Hackett so far only doesn’t look like the worst head coaching hire in recent history because the Jaguars thought Urban Meyer was a good idea. HOWEVA, the Broncos also have multiple legit receivers and a top-10 DVOA offensive line. The Bears have, well, you saw the charts.

So is Fields back to being The Guy now?

This was easily his best game of the year. He missed Mooney for a touchdown early, otherwise, he was great. And, honestly, my two favorite plays weren’t the biggest ones. They were the play where he felt pressure coming from his backside and scrambled away and the one where he tried a flip pass near the end zone after scrambling out of the pocket. The former showed great progress in feeling pressure – a year ago, that’s 100% a sack and maybe a fumble, too. The latter showed that he’s doing a better job of keeping his eyes downfield, the kind of stuff that makes Mahomes and Allen so dangerous. If he can get even two-thirds as good at it as those guys with his athletic ability, we’re really in business. Anyway, two more positive weeks in a row and I’ll pause the search for a new QB for next year.

Is Kindle Vildor actually good?

I mean, this is two good weeks in a row. Last year, where he got in trouble was in 1-on-1 coverage. He’s not being asked to do much of that now. So where I don’t think he’s all of a sudden a great player, he’s at least serviceable within the system.

So…Quinn…

Yeah, rough game. And unfortunately, this is getting to be a pattern. I would have much rather kept Khalil Mack than him, even if the return wasn’t as good. Quinn was awful against the run and frankly, his effort looked lackluster. In fairness to Quinn, he’s not the only problem here. I have seen enough of Al-Quadin Muhammad. He’s a guy. That’s it. He was a guy in Indy, he’s a guy here. Give his snaps to Kingsley Jonathan. Is he good? Dunno. Wouldn’t bet on it. But we know what Muhammad is. It’s a rebuilding year, let’s see if we have any pieces.

Speaking of which, I don’t know about some of these personnel decisions.

We covered Muhammad already. Velus Jones is clearly healthy, so why are Dante Pettis and Ihmir Smith-Marsette, two guys who shouldn’t even be on the roster at this point, getting playing time over him? And get Sam Mustipher off the field. I don’t care what you do, he just can’t be out there anymore. We covered this last week when he set a new record for being awful in your author’s grading; he followed that up with another dreadful performance. He wasn’t alone, but he was the worst offender.

What does this mean going forward?

If they keep playing like this, the wins will come. And one should come Thursday night. Screw the draft pick. Look, if you’re in dire need a total teardown, tanking can be the right move. This isn’t that, not if you believe Fields can be The Guy, anyway. If you think you’ve got the QB, try to win as many games as you can. Learn what it takes to win in the NFL. Get used to winning. Then when the cavalry gets here next year, they’re coming into a winning culture.

Monsters

Fields, Mooney, Vildor, Watts, Monty

Chipmunks

Smith-Marsette negated a 52-yard Fields TD run with a stupid, unnecessary block in the back and then sealed the loss on one of the dumbest plays I’ve ever seen, where he not only didn’t get out of bounds under 2 minutes, but coughed up the ball. A real banner day for him. Mustipher stunk again. The other linemen, other than Patrick, all stunk in at least one area. Quinn’s lousy day was already covered. Jaylon Jones wasn’t any good, but was placed in an impossible position, so Alan Williams has to share the blame for this one.

Four Stars of the Game

4star Darnell Mooney

3star  Justin Fields

2star  Kindle Vildor

1star  Armon Watts

Twitter: @KevinSports312

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