Who would have thought? Well, apart from everyone.
Justin Fields’ second outing was pretty, pretty good. Fields made 11 of 17 passes in the Bears’ 24-14 win over the Lions on Sunday, prompting this question: What exactly was Chicago coach Matt Nagy waiting for?
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Fields looked much better prepared and was in the money with his pitches Sunday. Maybe that was the product of a play call. Maybe it’s because it’s really good. He displayed a strong and precise arm and did not look exhausted in his pocket, working against a weak and unruly Lions defense. The rookie also used his mobility to escape the rush and reminded people why he was a top-tier prospect.
Fields’ second chance to win a start was far more fruitful than the beating he and the Bears took at the hands of Cleveland’s Myles Garretts in Week 3, when Fields was sacked nine times.
Now Nagy, general manager Ryan Pace and the rest of the Bears’ mental confidence have to hope that Fields keeps this up for the rest of the 2021 season, or else they’ll be on the unemployment line in January.
NFL Week 4 Winners and Losers
Winner: Justin Fields, Bears
Fields is arguably the biggest winner of the week.
He only attempted 17 passes in his second career start, but some of them stood out and gave Chicago fans something to look forward to in the coming weeks as Andy Dalton heals from a knee injury.
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Fields went from being verbally abused at the beginning of the draft season to physically abused in his first start on the field. Many unfair narratives surround the passerby from the state of Ohio. Now, presumably playing poorly and with the training wheels off, Fields has a good chance to light up the NFL world for the rest of 2021.
Loser: Davis Mills, Texans
Mills was placed in an impossible situation, and the third-round pick played like a rookie who was way over his head against a very tough defense from the Bills on Sunday. He pitched four picks in putting together one of the worst QB performances the NFL has seen since the extremely memorable Nathan Peterman.
Mills has a tall mountain to climb to become Houston’s next franchise passer. After a decent debut against the Panthers in Week 3, he crashed back to Earth in Week 4.
His days of being a five-star recruit after high school are long gone. To stay in the NFL, you’ll have to make a chicken-you-know-what chicken salad in Houston.
Winner: Trevon Diggs, Cowboys
Diggs had a block on Sunday against Sam Darnold and the Panthers as he continued to emerge as one of the best coverage corners in the league. That’s great news for the Cowboys defense who have seen better days.
The 2020 second-round pick was looking very, very good in early 2021. Diggs had a coverage rating of 87.1 PFF going into the Week 4 matchup against Carolina, and with two more picks on Sunday he now has five interceptions. leaders in the league. He has scored at least one pick in every one of Dallas’ games this season.
After deploying a porous defense last season, Dallas appears to be changing in Year 1 with Dan Quinn, and that’s important to Big D’s Super Bowl hopes in 2021.
Loser: 49ers QB Room
Jimmy Garoppolo is hurt and Trey Lance was put into action perhaps sooner than the 49ers bosses would have liked. Kyle Shanahan and the rest of the Niners are now in a precarious position.
While Lance displayed the traits that led San Francisco to pick him No. 3 overall in the 2021 draft (big arm, extremely mobile) he was also inaccurate and struggled with happy feet while in the pocket in Sunday’s loss. against the Seahawks.
Lance relieved Garoppolo, who was sidelined with a calf injury. Garoppolo believes the injury may not be as devastating, but is expected to miss a few weeks.
As with Fields from Week 3 to Week 4, a full week of preparation and an offensive plan that best suits his abilities will likely benefit Lance greatly next week. For now, though, the Niners hope that throwing Lance to the bottom of the pool doesn’t drown him, as they once again face early-season QB issues.
Winners: Tom Brady and the Buccaneers
While the game wasn’t the one-way affair some were hoping for, Brady scoring a win over his former team is a bit bigger than it might seem.
It wasn’t just the win over the Patriots and Bill Belichick that was sweet; Brady also made history during the game. He now holds his career passing yards record over Drew Brees and is now one of four quarterbacks to have beaten all 32 NFL teams, joining Brees, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning.
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Brady was showered with cheers when he hit the GIllette Stadium field on Sunday night, which turned to boos as he prepared to take his first snapshots at the game, so he returned home after a mysterious but supposedly breakup. volatile with the Patriots and won. it’s probably much sweeter to the GOAT.
Brady has always taken motivation from strange places, so it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he used Sunday’s victory as a springboard for his eighth Super Bowl ring.
Losers: Mac Jones and the Patriots
After falling to 1-3, the Patriots sit alongside the Jets and Dolphins in the AFC East basement. Who would have thought?
His record falls and does not fall on the quarterback.
It’s true that Jones isn’t doing much offense for the Pats right now, but that shouldn’t be a criticism at this point in his career. He’s a rookie quarterback, and rookie quarterbacks have to grow in their roles.
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With or without Cam Newton starting at QB, the Patriots weren’t going to be Super Bowl contenders this year. They may not have even been an AFC East contender with a completely healthy team. Building for the future with Jones is a double-edged sword: Jones doesn’t have Newton’s running ability, but he’s the team’s future while Newton is looking for his next job.
There will come a time when Jones will be asked to do more. (For his sake, it should be when the Patriots have better options as a wide receiver.) But his performance Sunday night was perfectly useful and kept the team in the game until Nick Folk launched a kick from the vertical.
Thus, the Patriots wasted a solid showing from him in their 19-17 loss at the hands of cowards Brady and the Bucs. There was probably nothing Belichick would have liked more than to get a win over the returning GOAT at Foxborough.
Jones, the Patriots and Belichick will have to settle for the L and, in Belichick’s case, a weird hug too.