Through the first three quarters of Monday’s game in Pittsburgh, it looked like the story for the Bears would be about their offense’s failure to generate points.
Thanks in part to a questionable call by the officials, Chicago didn’t get into the end zone and trailed the Steelers 20-6. By the end of the fourth quarter, the story would be different. Darnell Mooney scored on a touchdown run and DeAndre Houston-Carson returned a fumble for another score on a punt return to put the Bears right into the thick of the game. They trailed 26-20 when they got the ball back with 2:52 left to play and Bears first-round pick Justin Fields had a chance for an improbable comeback win.
Fields ran for one first down, hit Allen Robinson for 39 yards, and then extended a play long enough to find Mooney for a 16-yard touchdowns that put the Bears on top.
“My mindset was just like, ‘It’s time, we’re here,’” Fields said, via the team’s website. “You can either be the guy who always gets put in that position and doesn’t show up, or you can be that guy who shows up in the big moments. That was my mindset, and I was just calm and just focused on showing up.”
The drive only took 66 seconds and there wound up being enough time for the Steelers to drive for a game-winning field goal. Bears head coach Matt Nagy lamented the result, but also praised his rookie quarterback for giving his team a chance to win the game.
“I looked over at Justin and he had this smile on his face like it was his time,” Nagy said. “The confidence that gives you as a coach when you see that, it was like he was almost hoping that this was going to be the situation. And then for him to follow through with that and make those plays that he made, it was a really good feeling on that sideline. And I think when you talk about the growth for him and for the offense and just our team in general, that’s a moment.”
The Bears are 3-6, so there’s plenty for them to figure out during the bye week but they will go into the break with more confidence in where Fields can take them in the future.