The Bears can’t call after a strong first half, they lose to the Packers 45-30
By STEVE MEGARGEE | AP Sports Writer
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) – Justin Fields returned after missing two games and spent the first half on Sunday building the momentum he started building before his rib injury.
But the last two quarters of a 45-30 loss to the Green Bay Packers revealed how far the Chicago Bears rookie quarterback has yet to go.
Fields scored 9 of 16 for 150 yards with two touchdowns and a first-half interception to help the Bears (4-9) take a 27-21 lead, off to a good start after missing two games with broken ribs.
Then came the second half.
Fields has gone 9 of 17 for just 74 yards with an interception and fumble in the last two periods. The Bears were outscored 24-3 after halftime and only got a first try with less than five minutes to go.
Difficulties for Fields and the Chicago defense in the second half marred a spectacular performance from Jakeem Grant, who scored on a 97-yard punt return and also caught a returned pass from Fields in the backfield. and turned it into a 46-yard touchdown.
The Fields will need to become much more cohesive as attempts to become the quarterback the Bears have sought for decades.
The Bears distributed their 2022 first-round pick as part of a package to earn nine spots and select the former Ohio State star with the 11th overall pick in the draft.
Fields came in on Saturday after throwing twice as many interceptions (eight) as touchdown passes (four), but he had improved before he was injured.
In an Oct. 31 home loss to San Francisco, Fields threw for 175 yards and ran for 103, becoming the Bears’ first quarterback to rush for 100 yards in a game since Bobby Douglass in 1973. The following week , in a Monday night loss in Pittsburgh, he clocked a personal best 291 yards.
He did a lot of good things early Sunday night, but he also suffered two costly turnovers as the Bears lost for the eighth time in nine games.
In the second quarter, Green Bay’s Rasul Douglas took the lead on a pass to Darnell Moody and returned the interception 55 yards to give the Packers a 14-10 lead. Fields took a bad angle on his tackle attempt and ended up falling to the ground as Douglas reached the end zone.
Fields responded with a big game to put Chicago back in the lead. In the third and fourth points of the Chicago 44, Fields hit Damiere Byrd in stride. Byrd caught the pass around the midfield and passed the Green Bay defense in the end zone.
In the third quarter, Fields made another big mistake that helped Green Bay take control for good.
Chicago trailed 28-27 when Preston Smith sacked Fields and forced a fumble that Rashan Gary recovered on the Bears’ 23-yard line. A game later, Aaron Rodgers threw a touchdown pass to Aaron Jones.
Smith managed to pass left tackle Teven Jenkins, who was in the game because an ankle injury sidelined Jason Peters.
This time, Fields couldn’t bounce back.