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Don’t Overreact To Nick Foles’ Win In Seattle

  • The Draft Network
  • December 26, 2021
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The Chicago Bears won their fifth game of the season over an equally uninspiring Seattle Seahawks squad on Sunday in what was one of the most unanticipated games in recent team history. Justin Fields’ ankle injury forced him to the inactive list and resulted in Nick Foles’ first start of the season, and what a first start it was.

Foles completed 24-of-35 passes for 250 yards and a late fourth-quarter touchdown that brought the Bears to within one point: 24-23. With nothing to lose but the game, coach Matt Nagy opted to go for two, and as can be expected almost anytime Foles is on the field, the impossible became reality:

With that remarkable two-point conversion by wide receiver Damiere Byrd, the Bears will experience a rare victory Monday. And while it’s certainly a good thing for the young players on the roster to get a taste of success against a team led by Russell Wilson, the win still feels hollow without Fields being part of it.  Foles has no future on this team, whereas Fields is the future. But, if we’re being honest, Fields hasn’t had any play or moment—in any of the 634 snaps he’s taken this season—that’s had the kind of impact as that two-pointer Foles delivered in Week 16.

What does this all mean? First, don’t get it twisted. Nothing that happened in Sunday’s win should serve as an indictment against Fields. Don’t buy into any of the sure-to-be trolls on Twitter who will say Foles’ win is proof that Fields wasn’t the Bears’ best option to be the starter in 2021. Remember: Foles’ final drive doesn’t erase the fact that he was generally ineffective for most of the game, and the Bears already have seven starts and nine appearances worth of film from 2020 to know that he was never a viable option—at all—in 2021. 

Second, the Bears’ win is nice and all, but with Nagy’s decision to start Germain Ifedi over Larry Borom at right tackle, this game kicked off with a weird purgatory-like feeling. A win doesn’t change this season’s outcome, and in an odd way, the lack of playing time for players like Borom and Fields hurts the future of the team more than the win helps. What benefit (aside from that winning feeling) came from Sunday’s victory?

Old-school die-hard fans will hate that sentiment. Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing, right? I believe in that, too, but I’m not certain it applies to Week 16 without your franchise quarterback in a lost season, one that ends without a first-round pick in 2022, making draft slotting for the Bears’ second-rounder somewhat important. So, yeah, winning isn’t exactly everything right now.

Foles did his thing against the Seahawks. The thing he always seems to do. He was the underdog who came off the bench and led his team to a win that for most of the game felt like it was destined to be another loss. He’s done this act on the biggest stage—the Super Bowl—and in games like Week 16, which will probably be forgotten by the time next week’s practice report is published.

It’s important Bears fans remember that. Praise Foles for the moment, but remember it’s Fields who’s the future. And nothing that happened in Week 16 changes that. At all.

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