LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Justin Fields' performance against the Houston Texans in the Bears' 23-20 Week 3 win at Soldier Field was alarming. The second-year quarterback candidly referred to it as "trash" following the game.
It was an apt description of an afternoon in which Fields went 8-for-17 for 106 yards and two picks against a bottom-tier pass defense. Fields watched film Sunday night and vowed to be better for his teammates.
The second-year quarterback digested the Texans film and has subsequently flushed the performance as he prepares to face the New York Giants on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
"Just learn from my mistakes," Fields said of his process Wednesday. "When you don't have a game that you want to play as well in, all I really know, my response to that is get back to work and keep working."
Fields offered little details on his Texans film study. There were no massive revelations or obvious clues as to what caused the poor performance.
"It was frustrating. It was frustrating for sure. Got to learn from your mistakes," Fields said.
"I just got to play better," he added later.
On Monday, head coach Matt Eberflus said the Bears wanted Fields to keep working on his footwork and stick to the process.
Fields is understandably irritated by his early season play. But he believes it's part of the process and not a surprising setback early in his NFL career. It's important to note that Sunday's flop vs. the Texans was only Fields' third game in the Bears' new system and 13th start overall.
Bad games will happen. It's about making sure you diagnose the issue and make it a blip instead of a trend.
"They are really positive," Fields said of his film sessions with his coaches. "Just try to keep everybody on a positive page. Learning from our mistakes and, it's life, it's football, you're going to make mistakes, you're not going to be perfect. Just learn from your mistakes and makes sure it doesn't happen again."
Eberflus and the Bears' staff know the passing attack needs to improve. Through three games, the Bears rank last in completions, completion percentage, passing yards, and passer rating.
The Bears can do more to make Fields comfortable early in the game and get him in a better rhythm. With how they are running the ball, the Bears should be able to use the play-action game to great effect.
Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy wants to dial up quick throws over the middle of the field, but those are often thrown into the most heavily trafficked areas. The Bears could incorporate more throws to the outside with wider margins for error and dial-up ways to get Fields some easy completions early to settle into the game.
Everything should be on the table.
Fields' response has been encouraging as he looks to rebound from the Week 3 faceplant.
"It's been great. It's been really good," Eberflus said. "He's soaking everything in, learning from his experiences from the moments that he's in there. The things he did well in the game, and the things he needs to improve. He's was in here yesterday, working, so it's been good."
After the copious amount of work Fields put into improving his footwork, mechanics, and pocket presence this offseason, there's no doubt Sunday's game was disheartening on some level.
But Fields is approaching it with a level head and an air of defiance. He's unshaken. At least that's the face he's putting on ahead of Week 4.
"I've had bad games before," Fields said. "This isn't my first bad game I've ever had. Just looking at the past: What can you do to get better? What can you do to improve? Just how you look at situations that maybe you've had in the past like this and what'd you do to respond to it.
"We have a guy here for mental health, so if I'm ever down that bad, I can go talk to him, but really just learning from your mistakes, knowing that you're not gonna be perfect and just moving on and accepting the fact that we won the game. It's easier to correct mistakes after a win than a loss, of course, so just correcting each and every mistake and just trying to be better in every aspect."
The Texans game was an eyesore. Fields and everyone know he's capable of playing much, much better.
The Bears quarterback won't dwell on the misses, interceptions, and mistakes that plagued him in Week 3.
That's over and done with, as far as he's concerned. Fields is on to New York.