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Justin Fields dazzles again in loss to Eagles

Bears quarterback Justin Fields
Bears quarterback Justin Fields

Bears quarterback Justin Fields delivered another highlight-reel performance with his legs and arm in Sunday's 25-20 loss to the Eagles.

The second-year pro rushed for 95 yards on 15 carries and threw for 152 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a stellar 119.5 passer rating, the second highest of his career.

Fields has now rushed for exactly 1,000 yards this season, becoming the third quarterback in NFL history to reach that milestone. The Ravens' Lamar Jackson did it twice, with 1,206 yards in 2019 and 1,005 yards in 2020, while the Falcons' Michael Vick rushed for 1,039 yards in 2006.

With a spectacular 39-yard scramble in the second quarter, Fields set the Bears record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a season, eclipsing Bobby Douglass' 968 in 1972.

"It means a lot," Fields told reporters. "I told you guys this earlier in the week, I couldn't be here without God, I couldn't be here without my teammates and coaches, them pushing me every day, my teammates pushing me every day at practice, us pushing each other, them blocking for me on the field, blocking downfield. I couldn't be here without them. Of course, it's a great honor. But it's really because of those guys."

Tight end Cole Kmet described Fields' record-breaking performance as "pretty amazing."

"That's pretty impressive when you can rush like that, and a lot of it's coming from ad lib and whatnot, so pretty special stuff," Kmet said. "The way he's able to run through arm tackles and all those things down the field is pretty cool. And when you've got a guy like that—he's always fighting—you know you've got a chance there at the end."

Fields was at his best on a second-quarter drive when he scrambled for 15 yards on third-and-4 and then eluded pressure in the pocket before finding a wide-open David Montgomery for a 21-yard pass play.

Fields was then sacked and fumbled, with right tackle Alex Leatherwood recovering the loose ball for a 17-yard loss. On second-and-27, Fields dropped back to pass, somehow twisted out of the grasp of top pass rusher Haason Reddick and took off upfield. The Bears quarterback eluded linebacker T.J. Edwards and spun away from cornerback James Bradberry en route to the end zone. Unfortunately, Fields stepped out of bounds at the 9, but that didn't detract from the effort.

"Guys were pretty covered downfield," Fields said. "Once I saw that, I was just trying to go ahead out of the pocket, grab [Reddick] by the neck, fight off, just got out clean. It was second-and-27. I was trying to get the first down. Got the first down. There was some room to go. Of course, try to get to the end zone. I just wish I wouldn't have stepped out of bounds."

Coach Matt Eberflus watched the electric play unfold from across the field.

"The run he made down there, it's just phenomenal," Eberflus said. "He's doing an excellent job. He's doing a really good job of leading our football team. I think it's where he's growing the most over the second half of the season. He's just getting more and more confident as he goes."

Fields was not always sharp in the passing game, but he threw for a pair of touchdowns. Showing calmness in the pocket, he beat an Eagles blitz and lofted a 10-yard TD pass to Montgomery that drew the Bears to within 17-13 midway through the second quarter. Later in the game, Fields bought time by scrambling out of the pocket and found a wide-open Byron Pringle for a 35-yard score that cut the deficit to 25-20 with 2:43 left in the game.

Fields exited the contest with leg cramps with seven minutes remaining, headed to the locker room for an IV and returned to action after missing only one play, a third-down incompletion by backup Nathan Peterman that led to a punt.

"I went back to the locker room and got an IV," Fields said. "Ran out after that, I was good … I have to get an IV before every game. I didn't get one today because I thought the [cold] weather, I wouldn't need one. I'm still exerting energy, still using my body. From now on I'm going to have an IV."

Fields was sacked six times Sunday. But he did not commit a turnover against an Eagles defense that entered Week 15 leading the NFL with 24 takeaways and 15 interceptions. The Bears' only turnover came on a fumble by receiver Velus Jones Jr. on a jet sweep.

Fields has now rushed for at least 70 yards in five straight games, the longest streak by an NFL quarterback since at least 1950. He has also gained at least 50 yards on the ground in eight consecutive contests, the longest active streak by any NFL player regardless of position.

Fields needs 207 yards rushing over the final three games to break Jackson's record for most yards by a quarterback.

"I'm already deep into this year; might as well just try to go get that record," Fields said. "Three games left, 70 yards a game. We'll see what happens."