Why Fields isn't to blame for late-game INT in loss vs. Packers


CHICAGO -- The game log for the Bears' 28-19 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field will tell you that quarterback Justin Fields threw a critical interception late in the fourth quarter.

That would be true. With the Bears trailing by one with under three minutes to play, Fields dropped back and zipped a pass toward Equanimeous St. Brown. Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander read the play and jumped the route, picking the ball off and ending the Bears' comeback hopes.

It would be easy to pin the interception on Fields as another game-winning drive the young quarterback couldn't complete. But this interception is not on the second-year signal-caller.

Anticipation throws are a crucial part of the next stage of Fields' development as a pocket passer. This was an example of what the Bears want to see Fields do more of, but that requires the receiver to run a better route and then fight to get back to the ball when the corner jumps it.

"It was just a dig route," Fields said of the interception after the loss. "I think [Alexander] made a great play on that play. EQ was underneath him. But at that point, once you throw that ball, you anticipate the throw, and boom, he jumped it. Really at that point, you'd like to see the receiver come back to the ball. We always just try to tell the receiver that those DBs are going to want that pick each and every time, so they are going to attack that ball.

"That's just a timing throw, anticipated throw, and I think that [Alexander] made a good play."

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St. Brown did not talk after the loss to the Packers.

The veteran receiver did catch a 56-yard pass from Fields early in the game while being covered by Alexander. The Packers' star corner was not happy to surrender that completion to his former teammate.

"Nothing. Man, he a scrub," Alexander said of St. Brown after the game. "I can’t believe I let him catch that on me. But hat’s off to him because he did make a good catch."

Fields finished the game 20-for-25 for 254 yards and two interceptions. Before Alexander's pick, Fields completed 16 of his first 19 passes and was having what he called "one of his best games passing-wise."

"The stats aren't going to show that," Fields said. "I felt really comfortable out there in the passing game and just have to keep improving and keep getting better.

"I just felt comfortable. I don't know what it was. I just felt comfortable."

The next step is to finish one of these game-winning drives. Fields will need help to do that. But he believes it's on the horizon.

"The wins are going to start coming," Fields said. "I thought as an offense we got better today. I just can wait until they start coming."

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