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Film study: Aaron Rodgers’ ups, Justin Fields’ downs and Eddie Jackson’s shot

After not hitting Davante Adams the right way, Bears safety Eddie Jackson took a shot at … former Bears linebacker Lance Briggs.

Quarterbacks Justin Fields and Aaron Rodgers talk Sunday.
AP Photos

A look at Aaron Rodgers’ hits and Justin Fields’ misses — and a bonus miss by safety Eddie Jackson — in the Bears’ 24-14 loss to the Packers on Sunday:

‘My whole body started tingling’

After not hitting Davante Adams the right way, Jackson took a shot at . . . former Bears linebacker Lance Briggs.

On the NBC Sports Chicago postgame show, Briggs was critical of Jackson for not tackling the Packers receiver on his 41-yard gain with about seven minutes to play. Rather than wrap him up, Jackson — who has struggled with tackling since last season — tried to level him at the 32-yard line. The momentum of the blow drove him out of bounds, but only after Adams gained 11 more yards.

“You have to make that play,” Briggs said. “Get him down by any means necessary.”

Jackson sniped back in the most Gen Z way possible. On Sunday night, he retweeted a Pro Football Focus stat from 2011 saying that Briggs — a seven-time Pro Bowl player — led the NFL in missed tackles over a three-year span. He later deleted it.

Briggs wasn’t alone in his critique, though.

“He should’ve just run through and wrapped him up,” defensive backs coach Deshea Townsend said Monday.

On the sideline Sunday, Adams and Rodgers talked about what they’d do if the Bears showed a certain look. When they saw it on second-and-10, Rodgers eyeballed Adams. He nodded back.

“I told [Adams] in the locker room, ‘The thing that I will miss, you know, 20 years down the line, is moments where you make a solid adjustment and look over at the guy,’’ Rodgers said. “My whole body started tingling. I just knew it was going to be one of those special plays.”

Cornerback Jaylon Johnson pressed Adams at the line of scrimmage, reaching both arms out when the ball was snapped. Johnson seemed to think he was passing Adams off to another defender — and that the receiver was running an underneath route. Instead, he ran a corner route to the right sideline, behind Johnson, and was wide open.

Townsend said Johnson needed to hustle through the end of the play and chase Adams once he was beaten. He did not. Jackson’s miss compounded that mistake.

Townsend said Johnson had been playing an “excellent” game to that point.

“Just one of those plays you wish you could have back,” Townsend said.

Naked ambition

One of the lasting images of the game was wide receiver Allen Robinson streaking down the field, wide open — and Fields running instead.

With 3:23 left in the first half, Fields ran a naked bootleg left. Nose tackle Kenny Clark sniffed it out and cut Fields off just outside the hashes.

When safety Adrian Amos ran to double-team Darnell Mooney’s swing route left, Robinson was left uncovered on a post route from the left slot.

Fields stopped, planted his right foot at the hash mark and ran forward. He wound up to throw but, with Clark still chasing him from behind, decided to scramble for seven yards.

On Sunday, Fields had a brief description for why he didn’t throw it to Robinson.

“That’s a naked play, and my eyes aren’t supposed to go there,” he said.

He’s right. The backside post route is rarely part of the quarterback’s progression on a naked bootleg. The last time Bears quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo saw a passer pull up off schedule and complete a backside post on a naked bootleg was in the 2015 preseason when he was the Browns’ coordinator. The quarterback: Johnny Manziel, of all people.

“Usually when you get pulled up in a naked, it just pops in your vision,” DeFilippo said. It’s a ‘happening.’ Because it just happens.”

Fields might have thought Robinson was covered out of the corner of his eye because back judge Greg Steed was near Robinson, coach Matt Nagy said.

“You saw him go to load it and throw, but your sixth sense tells you that you might be getting hit from behind,” Nagy said. “So he just took off and ran and got positive yards.”

‘Free’ play

Not wanting to get fined, Nagy could only laugh nervously when asked whether he thought Clark jumped offside on third-and-seven with about a minute left in the first quarter.

“Um, no comment,” he said.

There’s no explanation for the missed flag. Nagy tried to answer another question, though: Why Fields’ heave downfield — an interception that he thought was on a free play — landed nowhere near Robinson.

To try to buy time, Fields rolled right. Unable to see Fields, Robinson broke off his route, as in a scramble drill, rather than continuing it to the end zone. Just then, Fields uncorked the pass into the end zone.

On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, the Bears had practiced their deep routes for that very scenario.

“I think we all in this room have seen it done by [the Packers], where you don’t just get an offside, but you get a free play, a touchdown, a pass interference, etc. — we have that in our repertoire,” Nagy said. “It’s a teachable moment for all of us — when a flag is not thrown, right? — on what to do.”