Bears

How Fields is dealing with losing streak after Ohio State success

Bears
Justin Fields

CHICAGO -- Justin Fields isn't used to losing.

The Bears rookie quarterback went 20-2 during his career as the starting quarterback at Ohio State, with both losses coming in the College Football Playoff, once in the semifinals and once in the championship game.

But life is different in the NFL, and Fields is finding that out after the Bears lost their third straight game, falling 33-22 to the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field on Sunday. Learning to deal with losses is part of life as an NFL starter, and Fields is doing his best to block out the noise.

"Just not paying attention to it, just literally just going back to work, going back to work, going back to work," Fields said after Sunday's loss when asked how he is dealing with losing. "That's it. Sometimes you can't control things in life, and you've just got to keep doing it, keep doing it, keep doing it. That's what I'm going to do, just keep going."

For a young quarterback on a 3-5 team, that can be tough. The weight of being the standard-bearer for a marquee franchise is a heavy burden for anyone, and losses can often damage a young quarterback early in the critical stages of his development.

But Fields, who threw for 175 yards, rushed for 103, and scored two touchdowns Sunday, is keeping an even keel during a tough stretch.

 

"Mentally, I think I'm in a good spot right now," Fields said. "Just trying to keep the outside voices out and just trying to keep the thing that we have like within the team and just really communicating with each other and getting on the same page and just trying to keep the outside noises out and just focus on us."

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In the lead-up to the 49ers' game, Fields said he felt the offense was on the verge of a breakout performance, and he proved semi-prophetic as the Bears tallied 324 yards and went 8-for-15 on third down.

That's something the Bears can build on as they turn their attention to a Week 9 visit to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers.

As for Fields, Sunday was another positive step in his development as an NFL quarterback. The Bears utilized more zone reads, bootleg actions and rolled the pocket to take advantage of Fields' strengths. Sunday's performance came complete with an electrifying 22-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 and a beautiful toss on an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jesse James.

With the season almost halfway gone, there are no discernable benchmarks Fields wishes to clear. It's just about winning today.

"I'm not expecting anything," Fields said when asked about his development. "I'm just going to try and get better each and every day, just that simple."

If Fields follows that mantra, the wins will come.