Trent Dilfer feels 'way better' about Justin Fields, worse about Bears

Trent Dilfer feels 'way better' about Justin Fields originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

On that stat sheet, Justin Fields had a bad game on Sunday. He completed 50 percent of his passes for 174 yards and zero touchdowns.

After looking at the score and seeing the Bears lost by eight points to the New York Giants, it's easy to point fingers at Fields as the team's main issue.

But, that's not how ex-NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer looks at it.

"I feel way better about Justin Fields. I think I feel worse about the Bears," Dilfer opened up with on 670 the Score.

The issue with Fields' perception is in the stat sheet, according to Dilfer. It's easy to write off a quarterback after only looking at the stat sheet. But, there's more to the story than that.

"Stats aren't important when you're a player, until you become a coach, because you realize stats create narratives," Dilfer said. "And the narrative when the stats aren't good is that he [Fields] was bad. Bad game equals bad stats. Sometimes for a quarterback, bad stats equal bad players, bad scheme, bad play calls, but you actually did your job right."

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To Dilfer, Fields' stats this season are bringing out a fallacy surrounding his play. In terms of Sunday's game, he saw much improvement from the quarterback. He emphasized the word "decisive" when highlighting Fields' play from a broad standpoint.

In a general sense, Dilfer gave Fields the benefit of the doubt for the team's poor situation. Fields wasn't protected well, evident across multiple plays where the Bears' offensive line was crushed by the Giants. Plus, Fields' receivers were caught multiple times failing to get open.

No time in the pocket, plus receivers failing to get open, equals an offensive mess.

"He didn't get protected. He made chicken soup out of chicken 'you know what' a couple of times," Dilfer said. "And he converted some big third downs. He played really, really decisively considering what he was asked to do."

Dilfer's point about what the Bears are asking him to do is vital to Fields' argument. The organization knows its offensive weapons and support around him are below average. Collectively, the Bears' offensive line is one of the worst in the NFL. The same goes for the receivers.

It's difficult to expect much out of Fields when he isn't allowed to make plays with the offense.

Unfortunately for the Bears, Dilfer doesn't think there's any helping the offensive line. Only if the coaches scheme correctly, then they'll be able to alleviate the pressure on Fields.

"They're going to really struggle on pass protection. There's no fixing it. There's no cure to this. Now you can get better and put in pass protection schemes that are more full slides, more full gaps covering up the inside players. But, center [and] right guard are going to get picked up. The center's getting destroyed. The center's getting picked on and it's going to happen the rest of the year.

"It's going to be tough in pass-situations to be successful. You're going to have to use play-action. You're going to have to throw on 3rd & 2. You're going to have to throw on 3rd & 1. You're going to have to be 60-65 percent throw first on first down to protect those offensive linemen."

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