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All 22 Review Of Fields Passing vs Pitt.....


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How Justin Fields and the Bears offense made their comeback through the air: All-22 review

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 08: Allen Robinson #12 of the Chicago Bears carries the ball against Arthur Maulet #35 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of their game at Heinz Field on November 08, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

The Bears are last in the league in passing and last in yards per pass. But something is still building, and the coaches have to use this week off to take advantage.

Since Week 4, Justin Fields leads the NFL in air yards per attempt, according to TruMedia, averaging 11.04. That’s more than a yard ahead of Jalen Hurts, who’s second in that category. In those six starts, Fields has 20 pass plays that have gone for 20 yards or more, which is tied for 11th in the league.

In Week 9 alone, Fields connected on six pass plays of 20 yards or more, the most in the league.

Fields has already tied Mitch Trubisky’s total of 20-plus pass plays from 2020, and he’s five away from passing Nick Foles. His passes are averaging three more air yards per attempt than both quarterbacks.

The precision on his deep ball stood out as the Bears mounted their comeback Monday night. It fell short, and they’re 3-6, but there should be enough plays for Matt Nagy, Bill Lazor and John DeFilippo to study this week and find ways to keep incorporating them into the game plan. It wasn’t simply Fields’ deep-passing ability — we’ve seen that — it was getting Allen Robinson, Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham involved, too.

Using the All-22 camera angle, here’s a look at Fields’ six explosive pass plays against the Steelers.

First-and-10 from the Chicago 48 (9:12) — J. Fields pass deep left to C. Kmet ran ob at PIT 27 for 25 yards.

On the 15th play of the game, the Bears ran a play-action bootleg. And guess what, it worked.

Fields faked the handoff to Khalil Herbert as the offensive line blocked to its right and Fields rolled to his left. The Bears had two receivers to the right and two tight ends in line to the right. Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton (20) bit on the play fake, opening up that side of the field for Kmet.

(NFL Game Pass)

A few other things to note on what allowed this play to work. Graham chipped Alex Highsmith (56), which did just enough to keep Highsmith from getting to Fields. Slot corner Arthur Maulet (35) blitzed — Herbert picked him up — and that meant safety Terrell Edmunds (34) picked up Robinson.

That left Minkah Fitzpatrick (circled) as the single-high safety, and he had to flip back to his right once it became clear the Bears ran a play fake, helping create the window for Fields to find Kmet for 25 yards.

A sack and ineligible-man-downfield penalty pushed this drive back and forced a punt, but the Bears scored points on four of their next five drives.

Second-and-2 from the Pittsburgh 31 (1:10) — (No Huddle, Shotgun) J. Fields pass deep middle to C. Kmet to PIT 10 for 21 yards (M. Fitzpatrick).

Late in the first half, Fields connected with Kmet yet again. This time, the quarterback is in the shotgun with the three receivers running hitch patterns.

That helped keep the deep middle of the field wide open, with Sutton (20) late to get to Kmet from his outside corner spot, and the middle of the Steelers defense focused on the short patterns.

(NFL Game Pass)

Fitzpatrick shaded toward Robinson to protect against a deep ball, and Fields did that with his eyes. At the snap, Fields first looks to his right before shifting middle to find Kmet.

(NFL Game Pass)

Fields did a nice job with his footwork shifting back to Kmet to make the throw. This wasn’t a play-action, cut-the-field-in-half throw. Fields was in shotgun, helped manipulate the safety with his eyes and feet and then found the open tight end down the middle. This is the type of play the Bears hope to see more of in the second half.

First-and-10 from the Chicago 36 (10:51) — J. Fields pass deep right to M. Goodwin to PIT 14 for 50 yards (M. Fitzpatrick).

On the Bears’ opening drive of the second half, they were backed up facing a third-and-8 from their 9-yard line. Fields avoided pressure and found Robinson for a key 17-yard gain to move the sticks.

After David Montgomery ran for 10 yards on the next play, Bill Lazor dialed up a play-action deep shot.

Kmet and Jesse James stayed in to block. Montgomery ran to the flat. The hope here is that either Marquise Goodwin or Mooney gets open, and it worked.

(NFL Game Pass)

With Mooney’s route attracting the attention of the safety on that side of the field (Edmunds), Goodwin has room behind his teammate, and Fields launched it for the 50-yard gain.

(NFL Game Pass)

Second-and-5 from the Chicago 35 (:46) (Shotgun) — J. Fields pass deep left to D. Mooney to PIT 45 for 20 yards (A. Maulet).

Here’s another example of Fields reading the defense and creating an explosive play from the pocket. Mooney finds a spot in the zone and benefits from the Steelers DBs respecting Goodwin’s deep route.

(NFL Game Pass)

Robinson is running a deeper route on the near side — no hitch patterns! Herbert and James ran to the flat, and both of them chipped the Steelers’ edge rushers, helping create a clean pocket for Fields.

(NFL Game Pass)

Second-and-8 from the Pittsburgh 43 (15:00) — J. Fields pass deep middle to J. Graham to PIT 15 for 28 yards (M. Fitzpatrick) [C. Heyward].

The fourth quarter began with what Matt Nagy called a “top three” throw in the NFL this season.

Let’s take a look at the route concepts. The Bears are in 13 personnel with three tight ends on the line, with Herbert in the backfield and Goodwin as the lone wide receiver, split wide left.

(NFL Game Pass)

Graham runs at Edmunds, then drives up the seam. On the far side of the field, James and Kmet both run shorter routes toward the middle of the field, while Goodwin is running a deep pattern.

When Fields fakes the handoff to Herbert, Fitzpatrick — the deep safety — is leaning toward the routes on the far side of the field.

(NFL Game Pass)

Fields then throws a strike and does so with Cameron Heyward hitting him and Fitzpatrick closing in on Graham. The 28-yard gain set up Mooney’s touchdown run on the next play.


Third-and-2 from the Chicago 45 (2:00) (Shotgun) — J. Fields pass deep right to A. Robinson pushed ob at PIT 16 for 39 yards (A. Maulet).

We conclude with Robinson’s longest reception of the season, and another thing for the passing game to build on during the bye — the Fields-to-Robinson connection.

Before the snap, Fields puts both hands to his helmet and turns to his receivers. Robinson mimics it and passes the call to Goodwin to his right.

(NFL Game Pass)

Robinson runs at the corner, Maulet, then plants and drives to his route to the sideline. Fields trust his receiver, as here’s where the quarterback begins to throw.

(NFL Game Pass)

Fields drops it in the bucket for Robinson, who gained separation by beating Maulet on the route for 39 yards.

(NFL Game Pass)

On the next play, Fields escaped the pocket, rolled to his left and threw one of the most precise throws of the weekend to Mooney for the go-ahead touchdown.

It won’t be as simple to say, “Do what you did against the Steelers over and over again.” But these throws are examples of what Fields — and this offense — is capable of. The first game back is daunting against the Ravens, but they have the 26th-ranked defense according to Football Outsiders, before a trip to Detroit to face the 29th-ranked Lions.

That’s what the second half of the season will be about: What can Fields do next?

(Top photo of Allen Robinson and Arthur Maulet: Emilee Chinn / Getty Images)

Edited by soulman
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