Sorting through Justin Fields’ final preseason performance

Bears quarterback Justin Fields stands on the sideline Saturday. | Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty ImagesThe final drive of the first half ended in an amazing throw from Fields to tight end Jesper Horsted for a 20-yard pass. The rest of the half, though, featured unspectacular Bears offense. During the first half that quarterback Justin Fields played Saturday, the Titans had twice as many first downs (10-5), more than double the Bears’ yards (184-79); and almost twice as many plays (39-20). They held the ball for 21:30, the Bears for 8:30. “It was good that we got that last two-minute drive in,” Fields said. The final drive of the first half ended in an amazing throw from Fields to tight end Jesper Horsted for a 20-yard pass. The rest of the half, though, featured unspectacular Bears offense. Sorting through them to find Fields’ ups and downs: Sidearm sling On third and 6 halfway through the first quarter, the Titans blitzed linebacker Jayon Brown, who was blocked by left guard Cody Whitehair. Receiver Rodney Adams, one of three receivers split left, motioned right before the snap. With a blitz coming, Adams ran an out route to the first-down marker. Fields had just enough time to throw. He winged the ball sidearm to Adams, who stepped out of bounds a half-step after getting the first down. Fields’ different arm angles have been as impressive as his velocity. “When you see a quarterback throw the ball, you know, [there’s] a lot of different … throws that he can make and a lot of different throwing angles he can throw from and things like that,” receiver Allen Robinson said earlier this month. “As a receiver, you definitely notice those things. He’s a very natural thrower. He can get the ball out of his hands.” Sacked Fields took his only sack on the game’s first play. On third-and-6, the Titans’ Ola Adeniyi quickly beat right tackle Germain Ifedi around the edge. Fields stepped up in the pocket a split-second too late. Adeniyi grabbed him around the waist and fellow outside linebacker Derick Roberson, who had rushed past left tackle Jason Peters, brought him down. It was a depressing start for the Bears’ two starting tackles, who were playing for the first time this preseason. Per Pro Football Focus, Fields had, on average, 2.8 seconds to throw Saturday. In Week 1, he had 3.8 seconds; in Week 2, 3.6. The average depth of his targets decreased significantly, too — from 10.5 yards in Week 1 and 10.6 yards in Week 2 to only 6.5 Saturday. Context is important: the Bears wanted to make sure Fields left the game unharmed. He did, though the line play was hardly reassuring. Nagy reiterated after the game that Peters remains the team’s top choice to start Week 1. The challenge, he said, is for the 39-year-old to round into football shape in the next two weeks. The Bears have only two padded practices before their season opener. Multiplier Fields’ 20-yard touchdown pass to Horsted led the highlight shows, but he made a similar play earlier in the two-minute drill. Facing man defense, Fields threw toward Horsted, who ran a corner route. Safety Matthias Farley was face-guarding him, and was flagged 20 yards for pass interference. “You’re gonna see a lot of man in preseason,” Fields said. “In that situation, you want to be the ball where Jesper could get it — or nobody.” The Bears refer to standout players as “multipliers” — those who make their teammates better. Fields appears to be that. Despite the Bears’ offensive struggles, Adams and Horsted — two players who might get cut Tuesday — ranked fifth and 14th, respectively, in the NFL in preseason receiving yards entering Sunday’s game. At the least, the two throws to Horsted shows Fields knows how to attack man defense. He’ll see more complex defenses the next time he plays — whenever that may be.

Sorting through Justin Fields’ final preseason performance
Chicago Bears v Tennessee Titans
Bears quarterback Justin Fields stands on the sideline Saturday. | Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The final drive of the first half ended in an amazing throw from Fields to tight end Jesper Horsted for a 20-yard pass. The rest of the half, though, featured unspectacular Bears offense.

During the first half that quarterback Justin Fields played Saturday, the Titans had twice as many first downs (10-5), more than double the Bears’ yards (184-79); and almost twice as many plays (39-20). They held the ball for 21:30, the Bears for 8:30.

“It was good that we got that last two-minute drive in,” Fields said.

The final drive of the first half ended in an amazing throw from Fields to tight end Jesper Horsted for a 20-yard pass. The rest of the half, though, featured unspectacular Bears offense. Sorting through them to find Fields’ ups and downs:

Sidearm sling

On third and 6 halfway through the first quarter, the Titans blitzed linebacker Jayon Brown, who was blocked by left guard Cody Whitehair.

Receiver Rodney Adams, one of three receivers split left, motioned right before the snap. With a blitz coming, Adams ran an out route to the first-down marker.

Fields had just enough time to throw. He winged the ball sidearm to Adams, who stepped out of bounds a half-step after getting the first down.

Fields’ different arm angles have been as impressive as his velocity.

“When you see a quarterback throw the ball, you know, [there’s] a lot of different … throws that he can make and a lot of different throwing angles he can throw from and things like that,” receiver Allen Robinson said earlier this month. “As a receiver, you definitely notice those things. He’s a very natural thrower. He can get the ball out of his hands.”

Sacked

Fields took his only sack on the game’s first play. On third-and-6, the Titans’ Ola Adeniyi quickly beat right tackle Germain Ifedi around the edge. Fields stepped up in the pocket a split-second too late. Adeniyi grabbed him around the waist and fellow outside linebacker Derick Roberson, who had rushed past left tackle Jason Peters, brought him down.

It was a depressing start for the Bears’ two starting tackles, who were playing for the first time this preseason.

Per Pro Football Focus, Fields had, on average, 2.8 seconds to throw Saturday. In Week 1, he had 3.8 seconds; in Week 2, 3.6. The average depth of his targets decreased significantly, too — from 10.5 yards in Week 1 and 10.6 yards in Week 2 to only 6.5 Saturday. Context is important: the Bears wanted to make sure Fields left the game unharmed.

He did, though the line play was hardly reassuring. Nagy reiterated after the game that Peters remains the team’s top choice to start Week 1. The challenge, he said, is for the 39-year-old to round into football shape in the next two weeks. The Bears have only two padded practices before their season opener.

Multiplier

Fields’ 20-yard touchdown pass to Horsted led the highlight shows, but he made a similar play earlier in the two-minute drill. Facing man defense, Fields threw toward Horsted, who ran a corner route. Safety Matthias Farley was face-guarding him, and was flagged 20 yards for pass interference.

“You’re gonna see a lot of man in preseason,” Fields said. “In that situation, you want to be the ball where Jesper could get it — or nobody.”

The Bears refer to standout players as “multipliers” — those who make their teammates better. Fields appears to be that. Despite the Bears’ offensive struggles, Adams and Horsted — two players who might get cut Tuesday — ranked fifth and 14th, respectively, in the NFL in preseason receiving yards entering Sunday’s game.

At the least, the two throws to Horsted shows Fields knows how to attack man defense. He’ll see more complex defenses the next time he plays — whenever that may be.