CLEVELAND — Bears coach Matt Nagy said the Browns knew that he’d try to get rookie quarterback Justin Fields moving out of the pocket Sunday, and they certainly anticipated that. But they appeared to be stunned that Nagy opted for a game plan that relied heavily on Fields dropping back and throwing from the pocket.
The results were brutal. Fields completed 6 of 20 passes for 68 yards and was sacked nine times. He was hit another six times. Browns defensive end Myles Garrett set the franchise record with 4.5 of those sacks and told NBC’s Mike Florio that the Bears’ basic offense made them simple to stop.
“He told me that the Browns’ defense was surprised by the way that Justin Fields was used — or more accurately, the way he wasn’t used,” Florio said on Football Night in America. “They didn’t move him around, they didn’t get him out of the pocket, they didn’t roll him out, they didn’t take advantage of his mobility. It made it easier for the [pass rushers] to get home, to get him on the ground.”
The conversation Florio relayed echoed something Garrett hinted at in his post-game press conference. Nagy’s scheme surprised the Browns, but only on the Bears’ first drive. Then his plan became obvious.
“After that, I think we kind of settled in and saw how they planned to use the flow of the game,” Garrett said. “It kind of came to us easily after the second possession and [we] kind of figured out what they were going to do and how we were going to adjust to that.”
The Bears finished with 47 net yards, their lowest since 1981, and had six first downs.
“I obviously did not do a good enough job of getting this offense ready to go,” Nagy said. “So it starts with me, ends with me and it’s as simple as that.”