Who hit Justin Fields?
But there was a scary moment in the fourth quarter when Fields took a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit from Bills linebacker Andre Smith, which knocked Fields' helmet off as he flew to the turf. Chicago Bears WireTwitter reacts to Justin Fields helmet-to-helmet hit
23 August, 2021 - 12:11am
23 August, 2021 - 12:11am
22 August, 2021 - 04:15am
Chicago Bears - Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears – Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
It is generally unreliable to project how good or bad an NFL team is based on its first two preseason games. However, there are so many things going wrong with the Chicago Bears at this juncture that at the very least every fan should be concerned about their team’s immediate future.
When diagnosing an NFL team’s problems I like to first start with the coaching staff, most importantly the head coach. My reasoning is that every organization is based on a hierarchy. Decisions made at the top of the hierarchy affect everyone below.
On top of that, no other sports teams are more dependent on their head coach and coaching staff as much as football teams. Great players and or great hustle can overcome some of the mistakes made by their superiors but when a whole team struggles, for clarity in diagnosing their problems, you need to start with the head coach and work down from there.
This is why head coach, Matt Nagy becomes our first target. His obvious strength has been his ability to connect with his players, create strong team chemistry, and push the right buttons to get them to play hard. Absolutely, none of this was evident in the Chicago Bears players during the debacle that was the Bills versus the Bears.
Last season Nagy’s play-calling became so ineffective he felt compelled to hand over the offensive play-calling duties around the mid-season point to his offensive coordinator, Bill Lazor. This arrangement did not last long but it did reveal for certain, the fairly obvious, that Nagy was guilty of not playing to his quarterback’s strengths. Now we flash forward to preseason 2021 and Nagy’s play-calling, clearly, was a factor in his team carrying over their offensive struggles from last season into the two Bears preseason losses.
His West-Coast Offense (WCO), play-it-safe play calls were, utterly, predictable and the opposing defense in both games for the most part dominated the Chicago Bears starters whenever they needed a first down. For example, this predictability was quite evident in the first game against the Dolphins. On every play when the Bears starters needed short yardage for a first down the Bears target for a short pass had a defender in his face that knocked away a pass.
Then the next game we have similar failings by the Chicago Bears offense. However, to put an exclamation point onto Nagy’s weaknesses as an offensive leader we also saw Mitch Trubisky have a very good game in a Buffalo uniform.
Admittedly the Bears’ defense made Trubisky’s job easier. For some mysterious reason, even playing at home, many Bear starters on defense lacked hustle and focus in this game. Maybe there was some emotional distance because it was their old friend they faced off against, then again maybe not. However, when it comes to team chemistry lacking you have to wonder what is going on between Nagy and his players.
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22 August, 2021 - 03:55am
In the Buffalo Bills’ preseason contest against the Chicago Bears, depth linebacker Andre Smith had another productive outing. He led the Bills in tackles, but one moment stood out and it wasn’t exactly a pretty play.
Bears quarterback Justin Fields notably does not tighten the straps on the side of his helmet… but when Smith ran in untouched on him during the game, the defender got a little high the QB and knocked him near his head. Fields’ helmet even flew off.
Smith was flagged for a roughing the passer penalty on the play.
As a reminder, here’s the collision via Bills Wire‘s Bradley Gelber:
Andre Smith just destroyed Justin Fields. Wow. (Fields got up after and is fine.) pic.twitter.com/TsG4NGPpQe
— Bradley Gelber (@BradleyGelber) August 21, 2021
In the moment, it didn’t seem like Smith meant to hurt the rookie.
Showing there was no malicious intent from Smith, he went to his social media account via Twitter following the game. He apologized to Bears fans personally:
A nice gesture by Smith, who is finding himself more and more securely on the Bills roster as the preseason rolls on.
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Red hot Trubisky at QB today for the #Bills vs. the #Bears:
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