The Bears have to be giddy coming off their pre-bye week loss to the Steelers. Yes, giddy after losing a game. Because while Chicago was a playoff team a season ago, the maturation of and flashes from Justin Fields matter more than anything else this season for the Bears.
Sure, if they sneak into the postseason, great.
But if Fields continues to play the way he did on the road, in Pittsburgh, in Week 9 — particularly in the second half — the Bears will be serious contenders for a long time.
Some of the throws he made in that defeat on “Monday Night Football” caused me to fan myself in my living room while watching.
Fields get what looks like a daunting test out of the bye — a date with the Ravens. But their defense that ranks 25th in Football Outsiders defensive DVOA, the all-encompassing efficiency metric.
And now is the perfect time for Chicago to provide their young, immensely talented quarterback with more juice at receiver. And that’s not a slight to Allen Robinson or Darnell Mooney.
Entering Week 11, Bears receivers have only accounted for 82 receptions, the third-lowest figure in the NFL, only trailing the Falcons (80) and Saints (76).
It’s time to elevate rookie wideout Dazz Newsome from the practice squad. The sixth-round pick has dynamic ability underneath as a pass catcher who can morph easy screens thrown behind the line into eight-yard gains and is deceptively fast down the field with surprising contested-catch skills.
As a 20-year-old junior in 2019 at North Carolina, Newsome eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on 72 receptions with 10 touchdowns catching passes from freshman quarterback Sam Howell. That season, he had 30 catches on throws made 10-plus yards down the field, which was the fifth-most among wideouts who returned to school in 2020.
In 2020, the Tar Heels went super run-heavy with Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, and while…