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Fields shines again in Bears' defeat in Dallas

Bears quarterback Justin Fields
Bears quarterback Justin Fields

IRVING, Texas – Continuing to show growth, Bears quarterback Justin Fields delivered another impressive performance Sunday against the Cowboys.

The second-year quarterback displayed his dual-threat ability, establishing career highs with a 73.9 completion percentage (17 of 23) and a 120.0 passer rating while also rushing for 60 yards on eight carries.

Fields accounted for three of the Bears' four touchdowns in their 49-29 loss, scoring on a 3-yard quarterback sweep and throwing TD passes of 17 yards to N'Keal Harry and 10 yards to Cole Kmet.

"Just Justin being Justin," said running back David Montgomery. "It's nothing new, him being a competitor and being able to go out there and command the offense. It's always what he is and what he does."

Fields demonstrated his running ability on the Bears' second possession, scrambling for gains of 15 and 14 yards before scoring on a quarterback sweep for the second straight game.

"His ability to run out of the pocket is really special," Kmet said. "The designed QB runs are also a plus. It just kind of creates opportunities in the pass game, so we'll just keep leaning on that."

Fields took advantage of those opportunities against the Cowboys with pinpoint TD passes to Harry over the middle late in the first half and Kmet on a fade early in the fourth quarter. Fields has now thrown TD passes in four straight games for the first time in two NFL seasons.

Fields threw deep twice in Sunday's game. On the Bears' first play from scrimmage, Equanimeous St. Brown had a step on cornerback Anthony Brown. But the pass was underthrown and fell incomplete. Later in the first half, Fields threw an accurate deep ball to Velus Jones Jr., but the rookie failed to hang onto the catchable pass with a defender on his back.

"If you want to have success in the NFL, you're always going to have to be a threat to stretch the defense vertically," Fields said. "You have to take shots downfield so they're not all up in your grill."

After scoring nine touchdowns in their first six games, the Bears offense has produced seven TDs in its last two contests, tallying 33 and 29 points after averaging 15.5 points in their first six games.

"It's good, it's positive," said coach Matt Eberflus."I think the guys are starting to really gel. You can see that we implemented some things that are really enhancing the skill levels of our players. I think it's starting to open up some things for us and it's positive for sure."

The biggest difference in the Bears' last two games is the implementation of more designed quarterback runs and read option plays that accentuate Fields' athleticism and speed. The new wrinkle came after a thorough evaluation of players and schemes during an 11-day period between games against the Commanders and Patriots.

"I think I'm just getting more comfortable with the offense," Fields said. "I think other guys are too, and the offense is growing. It's Week 9 coming up. I think everybody is getting more and more comfortable as we game-plan and play together.

"Our offensive coach (Luke Getsy) has done a great job of figuring out what we do as an offense, what each player does individually well. We're figuring that out, and that creates success, for sure."

In the last two games, the Bears have converted 51.5 percent of their third-down chances (17 of 33). Three of their four TDs Sunday in Dallas came on 75-yard drives of 12, 12 and 13 plays.

"It's better and better each week," said receiver Darnell Mooney, who caught a team-high five passes for 70 yards against the Cowboys. "We're putting points on the board. We're scoring. We're being a threat. We're being dominant. We're being good on third down.

"I feel like we move the ball whenever we want to. If we get stopped, it's something we did, nothing they did."