3 Takeaways from Bears' Week 4 WinOctober 4, 2021
3 Takeaways from Bears' Week 4 Win
The Chicago Bears had a historically bad outing against the Cleveland Browns in Week 3. They produced just 47 yards of offense while rookie quarterback Justin Fields was sacked a whopping nine times. However, Chicago painted a different picture in Week 4 en route to a 24-14 win over the NFC North-rival Detroit Lions.
With the offensive line providing adequate protection, fans got a glimpse of Fields' upside. The defense, meanwhile, had another solid outing. It surrendered 346 yards but only two touchdowns.
The big takeaway is that after looking like an embarrassment just a week earlier, Chicago is 2-2 and right back into the playoff mix. Here's what else we learned during the Bears' Week 4 win over the Lions.
Justin Fields Can Be Competent When the Game Plan Is Right
We criticized the Bears and head coach Matt Nagy after Week 3 for setting up Fields for failure. We saw a more coherent game plan against Detroit, though, and Fields showed he can be a serviceable starter under favorable conditions.
Chicago committed to the run after largely ignoring it against Cleveland. The Bears rushed 39 times, while Fields attempted only 17 passes. After being sacked nine times by the Browns, he was taken down only once Sunday.
The results weren't perfect, as Fields finished with 209 yards and an interception. However, the rookie was able to stretch the field and put the ball in the right position more often than not—he finished 11-of-17.
Credit offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, who took over play-calling duties after Week 3's disaster.
"Bill did a great job," Nagy said, per The Athletic's Adam Jahns.
While we may still see Andy Dalton in the starting lineup once he's healthy, the Bears proved that they can win with Fields when they plan properly. We will see whether they can keep doing that against the surprisingly potent Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5.
The Bears May Have Escaped Running Back Disaster
Running back David Montgomery deserves his fair share of credit for this win. Not only did he rumble for 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns, but he also helped open things up for Fields—and for wideout Darnell Mooney, who caught five passes for 125 yards.
However, things looked bad when Montgomery left the game with a knee injury. Damien Williams came in and played well—he averaged 6.9 yards per carry—but losing Montgomery for an extended period would be a major setback.
The good news is that Montgomery's injury doesn't appear to be season-ending. He will have an MRI on Monday, but the early prognosis is promising.
"The initial belief, based on early tests, is that the hyperextended knee did not lead to a major injury," NFL Media's Ian Rapoport tweeted. "But the additional tests will tell the full story."
Hopefully Montgomery will be back on the field sooner rather than later.
Chicago Has Figured Out How to Use Robert Quinn
When the Bears signed Robert Quinn to a five-year, $70 million deal last offseason, the belief was that he would become a steady complement to Khalil Mack. In his first campaign in Chicago, though, he wasn't. Quinn finished the 2020 season with just two sacks.
Four games into 2021, Quin has already amassed 4.5 sacks and nine quarterback pressures. He had another sack Sunday to go with two quarterback hits, a tackle for loss and five solo stops.
It's clear that new defensive coordinator Sean Desai has figured out a plan for Quinn that is working. This, in turn, has improved Chicago's pass rush as a whole.
After compiling only 35 sacks in 2020, Chicago has already notched 15 this season. This puts the Bears on pace for roughly 64 sacks on the season. Quinn and Mack have combined for 9.5 sacks.
While it's come a year after it was supposed to, Quinn and Mack appear to be one of the best pass-rushing duos in the NFL.
Advanced statistics from Pro Football Reference. Contract information via Spotrac.