ESB explains why Fields didn’t hit him for open TD vs. Packers originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Justin Fields threw the ball just 11 times Sunday night in the Bears’ 27-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
The Bears trailed by 17 at halftime and needed Fields to come up with big plays in the second half to get them back in the game. A chance presented itself on the Bears’ first third of the second half, but Fields couldn’t pull the trigger.
Facing a third-and-10 from their own 22-yard line, Equanimeous St. Brown got away from Eric Stokes on the right side of the field. Fields is a prolific deep ball player and should have been able to put it to St. Brown for what could have been a 78-yard score to quickly change the momentum of the game.
Fields looked like St. Brown but eventually checked it to David Montgomery for a 7 gain that brought out the punt team.
On Monday, St. Brown explained that he ad-libbed his route and signaled to Fields that he had his man beat. The duo have discussed it, but it hasn’t happened in-game yet.
“I had to go a curl route,” St. Brown said Monday. “But I beat the DB so badly that I threw my arm and turned it into a run.
“When we throw our hand up, we call it a mailbox. If you’re not going to run your route and you’re going to run a route, raise your hand so the quarterback knows you’re going to run a route and not the actual route.”
It’s important to remember that the Bears have only played two games in this system. It usually takes time for teams to find a rhythm and everything to start clicking.
Through two games, Fields has completed 15 of 28 passes for 191 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
St. Brown developed quick chemistry with Fields during training camp. His experience in Luke Getsy’s system made him a natural receiver for Fields to gravitate toward No. 1 pick Darnell Mooney.
The 25-year-old receiver is sure Fields will hit him the next time he opens the mailbox.
“Definitely. I think this might have been the first situation we’ve had all camp, OTAs, where that’s happened,” St. Brown said. “We’ve talked about it. But I think it’s the first time it’s happened in a real situation, practice or game. So, I think going forward, things like that we’ll connect.”
The Bears’ passing game has been abysmal for two weeks. It was fair to talk about Week 1 under the circumstances, but it wasn’t any better Sunday in Green Bay. It seemed worse.
Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet haven’t been involved, Fields hasn’t found a rhythm and the pass protection hasn’t been optimal, to be kind.
So when opportunities like the St. Louis “mailbox” game arise. Brown, the Bears need Fields to recognize that and pull the trigger. The Bears can’t afford to let them go to waste.
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