Watch Justin Fields' quarterback throw in the Bears' 35-32 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday:
The climax of the game — if not the Bear season — came four minutes into the second half. On third-and-eight, the Bears turned the receiver over to the right three times and Khalil Herbert dropped back to Fields' left.
Fields got between quarterback Sam Mustifer and left tackle Cody Whitehair, went back to the pocket and ran past the left diamond. Fields ran five yards down the football practice line. He slipped between Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker, who was gathering to Fields' right, and Duke Riley, who was coming in from the left, to come within a yard of him.
The square went to the left. He passed six Dolphins when he reached the end zone 61 yards later. According to NFL Next Gen stats, he clocked 20.33 miles per hour.
"You could just tell by his demeanor, 'OK, put him aside and let him do his job,''' Cole Kemet said, pointing to the correct slot before closing it. "He flew in one touch.
Vince Evans' 58-yard touchdown pass in 1980 was the longest by a quarterback in franchise history.
"He just kept moving and kept his balance…" Mooney said. "He's special. He did something special with the ball. I'm amazed at what he does every Sunday.
Play caller Luke Getsy gets credit for getting the quarterback schedule into the playbook. But Fields was at his most dangerous when he still didn't have a script. He has thrown 42 times this season for 411 yards, both the most in the NFL. He rushed for a league-best 188 yards in that game, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
"It's crazy," Kemet said. "When you see him run like that and then you see him run like that in the passing game, that's pretty special."
On the first play of the second quarter, Fields Herbert at the Dolphins 18 expertly faked a pass, turned defensively and deflected the ball from his right hand to his left. As Herbert Fields passed, he extended his empty right arm toward the end zone and, with his back to the defense, turned to his right and spun. That left Dolphins quarterback Jaylen Phillips with enough time to catch Fields with his bare feet on the right side of the field.
Zelais threw the ball to Kemet, who made a pass on the 13th. Equanimous St. followed the block. Brown to the right to score.
"If you can run the ball — we've been able to run the ball the last few weeks — you can sell a good run," Kemet said.
The Bears defined the game in training camp.
"We were working on ball handling and of course we were selling fakes," Fields said. "Even the runner will sell. Khalil had a very good job here. We had a little chat at the beginning of the week. Good execution throughout."
The break featured Gatsey's Bears' most creative drive of 15 games, a 75-yard drive that took 7:41 and stymied the Dolphins' potent passing attack.
Four different men had the ball: Fields, Herbert, David Montgomery and Kemet. The tight end took a quick eight-yard swing, then went down the middle on the next play with a direct snap to convert it to third-and-one.
Getsy ran the ball back, beat Montgomery with a quick release, and up the middle after a quick release by receiver Dante Pettis. Fields also changed his college pace to the left sideline and threw one yard to Montgomery.
"I think those creative options, of course, are really great to expand the playing field in this game," coach Matt Eberflus said. "And those things also unlock things in the Action Playing Pass."
It was supposed to be a trick game. With 10 1/2 seconds left at the Dolphins 18 with 2:23 left in the first half, Fields took a shotgun snap, reached up the middle and threw it to receiver Darnell Mooney, who was running in the end zone. From left to right.
Fields then circled between Braxton Jones' left shot and Cody Whitehair's left keeper, taking a left cross and glancing at Mooney.
Mooney had to run. If he did, it would have been a touchdown, the field was wide. But pressure from the right side meant Mooney held the ball for two yards.
"He doesn't have time," Fields said. "I'm definitely looking for the ball. Hopefully I'll see the ball coming from behind the line. Of course, he made a smart move in the game and left the ball.
The Bears found the end zone on the next play, this time on a pass from Fields to Mooney, not the other way around. On third-and-8, Fields went shotgun and three receivers fell. Mooney was the closest to the inside.
Before the snap, Fields found the Dolphins in man coverage with star Xavien Howard, a three-time Pro Bowl cornerback, shadowing him inside. That's what they want to see. In an instant, Pettis sent a thin post to Javon Holland in the middle of the end zone.
The moons open one by one in a curved path. Fields looked up to see Mooney looking over his right shoulder instead of his left. He ran the ball in for an 18-yard touchdown, Mooney's first of the season.
"I couldn't have asked for a better play call in that situation," Fields said.