Movie review: Bears QB Justin Fields shows better accuracy against Falcons before game-ending interception

Bears quarterback Justin Fields improved in the finer points of the passing game and showed substantial improvement in his throwing for most of the Falcons game before, of course, losing it on an interception .

But the overall upside is significant overall – and right now as he deals with a left shoulder injury (without pitching). While this affects his passing motion, it’s much more of an encumbrance for his running ability. Assuming Fields continues to play despite the pain, it will be better to throw.

Incidentally, it’s something he has to prove he can do anyway. It’s incredibly difficult to pass in obvious overtaking situations, like late in the game, but it’s part of the job. This is one of the boxes that Fields still hasn’t checked.

But he’s getting better, as the film’s review of the 27-24 loss to the Falcons showed:

Mooney is money

One of the weirdest parts of Fields’ early season passing struggles was that Darnell Mooney, the only proven wide receiver on the roster, wasn’t much of a factor. But that has changed. Mooney is back where he should have been all along: being the Bears’ best option on the court.

He had just four catches for 27 yards in the first three games, but averaged 4.5 catches and 58.3 yards in the last eight games. He caught his first two touchdown passes in the last three games, and both were on perfect Fields throws.

On the 16-yard touchdown in the Falcons’ first quarter of the game, Equanimeous St. Brown fielded a left and Mooney was on the inside, then they crossed and Falcons cornerback Dee Alford crashed into St. Brown. This opened up Mooney a few steps, and Fields threw a clean pass past him that he was able to catch without slowing down, just like he did against the Lions.

“He’s getting better and better and he trusts me,” Mooney told the Sun-Times. “He throws it up there and lets me run under it. He was trying to hit landmarks before, but I was like, ‘Bro, don’t think about it. Let’s just do our thing. Throw it away. We have this type of connection now.

It’s very encouraging for the Bears. Mooney was a 1,000-yard receiver last season and, at 25, should be on the team.

And the deep shot they missed later in the first quarter was another step in the right direction. Fields has to take those risks, and coach Matt Eberflus loved the throw even though he sailed a few feet too far.

Reversing on this play is better than under throwing, and Mooney usually has the speed to make it happen.

“I definitely blame that one on me,” Mooney said. “I couldn’t hit my boost… It’s a good ball. It’s on me.”

Kmet rolling

It was hard to imagine the passing game clicking without Mooney and tight end Cole Kmet in the lead. Kmet is finally cooking. He has 12 catches for 150 yards and four touchdowns over the last three games. It’s not Travis Kelce, but it’ll be fine.

He had the best catch of his career in the second quarter when Fields hit him for 24 yards in the second quarter. It was a difficult one-handed hold when cornerback AJ Terrell drilled him in the ribs as the ball landed, and that acrobatic maneuver overshadowed the fact that it was a great pass from Fields to lead Kmet towards the bottom.

“Justin actually threw a really good ball, knocking it over the [defenders up front]Kmet said. “It’s in that little area where security can’t get to it and a corner can’t fall down and get to it.”

Montgomery’s Big Game

Speaking of the best play of someone’s career, has Fields ever had a more impressive throw than his 32 yards on the sideline against running back David Montgomery early in the fourth quarter?

Fields rushed to the right and motioned for Montgomery to break his route and cut up, then pounced on his body while rolling right to drop the ball just past Montgomery, who caught without break stride.

“Justin being Justin, making things happen,” Montgomery said.

It was the longest play of the game by either team and the Bears’ seventh-longest assist of the season.

super scramble

Fields made another big pass on third-and-12 a few plays later, this time hitting St. Brown for 14 yards to extend a drive that ended with Montgomery’s touchdown and tied the game 24-24.

He looked straight for St. Brown as soon as he backed up, but cornerback Darren Hall had him covered well. He rolled left, then ran right and hit an open St. Brown on the sideline. He broke three tackles during that spree, gave himself an absurd 10 seconds to throw and, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, ran for 33.2 yards — the longest of any quarterback for a third conversion this season.

On 126 third plays this season, Fields had 30 first downs or touchdowns per pass and 33 while running for a 52.4% conversion rate.