Schrock’s Bears Report Card: Grading Justin Fields, offense, defense in win vs. Vikings originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — It wasn’t pretty. Monday’s primetime game between the Bears and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium won’t land on many after-season highlight montages.
But in the end, quarterback Justin Fields did just enough to back up a dominant performance from the Bears’ defense and deliver a 12-10 win.
Fields and the Bears tried to combat the Vikings’ blitz-heavy attack with a giant dose of screens and horizontal passes. That game plan led to three hours of offensive football that wasn’t aesthetically pleasing.
But there are no style points in the NFL.
A win is a win, and this was a victory that head coach Matt Eberflus and the Bears desperately needed as they head into their bye week.
The report card reflects one unit that aced its primetime test and one that did just enough to pass with some last-minute extra credit:
Fields was blitzed on 52 percent of his dropbacks Monday night, per ESPN Stats and Info. The Bears countered that with 13 screen passes, which caused Fields to finish with 2.4 air yards per attempt and 1.9 air yards per completion. Both marks are the lowest of his career.
Fields threw 21 passes at or behind the line of scrimmage on Monday night. That’s the most in the NFL since 2020, according to ESPN.
But on the Bears’ final drive, the Vikings didn’t blitz Fields, and he completed two passes of 10 or more air yards on the drive, including a 36-yard strike to DJ Moore that set up the game-winning field goal.
“Everybody bailed out there and left me wide open,” Moore said after the Bears’ win. “I don’t think that was very smart.
“Maybe like 10 yards into the route, I was like, ‘something ain’t right about this.'” Moore said. “Then I was like, ‘shoot, there’s nobody in the middle. This deep in is going to be in the middle.’ We connected on it, and the rest is history.”
The Bears’ pass attack was an eyesore…