The Chicago Bears lost to the New York Giants 20-12 on Sunday in a wild game that ended with running back Saquon Barkley playing quarterback after injuries to quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor. Barkley ran 31 times for 146 yards as the Giants totaled more than 250 yards on the ground.
After trading four picks to the Giants to select quarterback Justin Fields at No. 11 in the 2021 NFL draft, it remains unclear if the Bears made the right decision. Four games into his second year, Fields has only thrown two touchdowns and is last in total passing yards.
Fields had a tough day against the Giants, although he wasn't helped out much by his supporting cast. He had a 50% completion percentage on a season-high 22 attempts but was sacked six times with zero touchdowns or interceptions. New York constantly pressured Fields, forcing a fumble in the second quarter that set up a Giants touchdown that put the Bears down eight points.
The Bears averaged 187 rushing yards per game before today, but they were held to 149 yards against the Giants. Fields was forced to become the second rushing option for Chicago, who was without running back David Montgomery (ankle). Second-year running back Khalil Herbert rushed for 77 yards on 19 carries but failed to find the end zone.
Chicago's inability to turn their red zone trips into points made the difference in this game. The Bears had three red zone trips and could not score a touchdown, settling for field goals each time.
With 2:13 left in the fourth quarter, rookie wideout Velus Jones Jr. fumbled a punt, sealing the Bears' defeat. While the Giants couldn't extend their lead, Chicago would get the ball back with 16 seconds left in the game, although a final trick play failed to find the end zone.
If there is a reason for optimism, the offense is throwing the ball more with Fields. Whether it's by choice or because of the opponent's defensive strategy, the passing attempts have increased each week after Green Bay.
On an injury note, Chicago's offensive line woes continued as left guard Cody Whitehair left the game with a knee injury. He was replaced by Lucas Patrick.
The Bears are 2-2 and will travel to Minnesota to play their second divisional game against the first-place Vikings (3-1) on Oct. 9 at Noon CT.
Story originally appeared on Bears Wire