Commentary: Time for Bears to have a vertical passing game
Robert Deutsch - USA Today Sports

Commentary: Time for Bears to have a vertical passing game


by - Correspondent -

Justin Fields, had a perfect passing rating in Week 1 of the Pre-Season 3-3 129 yards and two touchdowns in nine snaps, but of all of those passing yards were at the line of scrimmage.

So, is Fields ready to start winning games with his right arm instead of his legs?

“Rhythm, timing, he’s getting better there," Bears head coach Matt Eberful said recently. "Sometimes it’s a protection breakdown. It’s always everybody. It’s the other ten guys that need to operate. Are we running the routes correctly? Are we protecting him the right way (and) giving him time? And doing those types of things, it takes to have an efficient passing game.”

Yes, Justin Fields had one of the highest quarterback passing ratings in the NFL in weeks 7-18 last year.

Is that what the future holds, or is he going to be the player that rushed for the NFL second-season best of 1,143 yards, or is it going to be what Bears fans are hoping is a combination of both?

Either way, it is a massive year for him. Is he the franchise quarterback the Bears have been starving for, or will the Bears have to start over again at the position?

Adding a "1" wide receiver in D.J. Moore will help immensely. Anyone who watched the week 1 Pre-season game vs. the Titans can see the explosion he has, plus with all the attention applied to Moore, it should help get Darrell Mooney and Chase Claypool, and Cole Kmet more one-on-one coverage. The offensive line should be better also, with the addition of first-round pick Darnell Wright, who looks like he could be a staple on the offensive line for the foreseeable future.

While there is no Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, or Neal Anderson at the running back position, the staple of running backs led by Khalil Herbert, Tristan Ebner, and rooking Roschon Johnson who looked good vs. the Colts in week 2 of the Pre-season should be strong enough to keep defenses from selling out of making the Bears defeat them with the pass, plus this is the second year for Justin Fields in Luke Getsy's offense, they know each other tendency's, what plays Fields likes, and what Getsy likes to call, so there is no excuse of having to learn a new offense like he had two the first two years of his career.

There is talk that Justin Fields is ready to make that third-year leap, as Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts did, and be an MVP candidate.

ESPN pundit Stephen A. Smith from ESPN isn't sold, saying he "Still lacks the playmakers around him." So, if things go south for the Bears this year, will they still try to add to the team and give him more help, or will they look for a new quarterback?

Nothing is more demoralizing to a defense when you have a team in third and long, all the offensive's wide receivers are covered, and the quarterback has nothing to do but scrambles short of the sticks.

If the team needs to drive the length of the field to win the game this season, will Justin Fields step up in the pocket and hit D.J. Moore on a critical third or fourth down?

That is what the Bears are going to have to find out this season, as my friend used to yell at the TV when we watched the Bears, "Vertical passing game."

Hopefully, the Bears have it, and we can all cheer for the Panthers to lose, so they can get another high pick without having a bad season.

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