Justin Fields: Analyzing the Offensive Struggles and the Quarterback's Silence
The Bears offense is struggling, averaging 3.5 points less than last season, and facing injuries and a lack of answers.
The Chicago Bears are facing numerous challenges this week as they search for solutions to their struggling offense. The team is dealing with injuries in the secondary, with Jaylon Johnson, Tyrique Stevenson, and Josh Blackwell exiting the game early, joining Eddie Jackson and Kyler Gordon on the injured list. Additionally, the offensive line is lacking continuity due to Braxton Jones' neck injury, resulting in constant changes in the lineup. Overall, the Bears are struggling to find answers on how to get their offense going.
Their offensive struggles have persisted for the third consecutive week. They only managed to score 10 points in their recent game, with their lone field goal and touchdown coming in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach and the Chiefs had their starters on the sideline. The Bears have only scored a total of 47 points in three games, averaging a pitiful 15.7 points per game. This is worse than their average of 19.2 points per game last season, despite having added talent like DJ Moore and being in the second year of Luke Getsy's system.
The question arises: what is causing this decline in offensive performance?
Justin Fields, the Bears' quarterback, admits he doesn't have an answer. After facing criticism for his comments last week, he decided to avoid addressing the question altogether. This was supposed to be the week where Fields played more freely and took more risks, but it didn't make much of a difference. He struggled with an 11-22 completion rate for 99 yards, one interception, and a garbage-time touchdown pass. He also rushed 11 times for 47 yards.
Head coach Matt Eberflus acknowledges the need to find the right flow for Fields and the entire offense. He also points out that the defense, which he now leads, is part of the problem. Eberflus believes that if the defense can stop the opposing team and create turnovers, it will make it easier for the offense to perform.
The Bears are facing challenges on both sides of the ball, including injuries, game plan issues, and execution problems. They don't have much to rely on as they regroup and reassess their strategies. However, they remain confident and trust the work they have put in at Halas Hall, their training facility.
Eberflus emphasizes the importance of focus, fight, resilience, and blocking out external noise in order to improve. He believes that with an optimistic attitude and collective effort, the team can overcome their current struggles.
Fields remains hopeful, citing the example of the Detroit Lions, who started the previous season with a 1-6 record but nearly made the playoffs. He urges his team to keep the faith and remember that it's only the third game of the season, with 14 games left to turn things around.
However, it's important to note that the 2023 Bears are not the same as the 2022 Lions. The Lions had a strong offensive line, a dominant run game, and were competitive in their losses. In contrast, the Bears have suffered three losses by 10 or more points, with an average margin of defeat of 19.6 points. The Bears are currently not competing at the same level as the Lions did.
Fields' optimism about the remaining games is valid, but the Bears have a long way to go before they can secure another victory. If they continue on their current path, their record may be the least of their concerns.