Quarterback Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears are about to kick off their 2023 season against longtime NFC North rivals, the Green Bay Packers, and new Bears wide receiver D.J. Moore expects his QB to be laser-focused and dialed-in.
When speaking with the media on September 6, Moore was asked about the demeanor of Fields heading into the game. The Bears quarterback had spoken to reporters before Moore did, and Fields didn’t let a lot of emotion show through. Moore was asked about Fields’ rather stoic demeanor during the interview, and when one reporter wondered if the Bears’ QB’s serious mood meant he was simply extra-focused, Moore’s answer was blunt.
“I don’t know. He better be locked in. He’s the quarterback,” Moore said, before adding this amendment: “At the end of the day, I think he’s locked in. I know he’s locked in.”
So, Is Fields Locked In?
We’ll know soon enough whether Fields is ready to elevate his game. In the four games he has played against Green Bay, Fields has thrown for 722 yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions (70.7 passer rating). His most recent game against them, however, was Fields’ best.
When Chicago hosted Green Bay Week 13 of the 2023 season, Fields had his best game against the Packers, going 20-25 for 254 yards with two interceptions, also adding 71 rushing yards and a score on the ground. The 254 yards Fields gained through the air that game was his highest passing output of the 2022 season.
The Bears have been struggling against the Packers for years — long before Fields arrived. Green Bay has won 24 of its last 29 games against Chicago, with the Bears last winning a game in the series in December of 2018. The Bears are also 8-11 against the Packers in season openers.
For his part, Fields, who is still seeking his first win against the Pack, is not focused on all that.
“It’s the most important game of the season, so I’m not really looking back towards history,” Fields said about the Week 1 game against Green Bay. “I’m looking toward now. Like I said before, we’ve got a different team this year. We don’t really care what happened in the past. That doesn’t affect what’s gonna happen on Sunday. We’re just looking to go out there, play our best and put our best foot forward.”
Moore Taking Leadership Role With Bears
The addition of Moore, a true WR1, should help against Green Bay. In his first season with the team, Moore has already established himself as one of the team’s leaders, getting named one of four team captains, along with Fields, safety Eddie Jackson and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. It’s something Moore values a great deal
“I was ecstatic — I never was a captain (in the NFL),” Moore said. “To be named a captain, shoot, I was jumping up and down in my seat low key. Glad nobody noticed.”
Last year, Moore had 63 catches for 888 yards and seven touchdowns (52.2 yards per game) with the Carolina Panthers. He came to Chicago, of course, as part of the blockbuster trade package negotiated by Bears general manager Ryan Poles in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick.
Moore has never been a part of the Bears-Packers rivalry — until now.
“It’s going to carry weight because it’s a division opponent,” the Bears wideout said about playing against the Cheeseheads. “Winning this game, we’re just going to sit on a high horse throughout the season knowing that you accomplished one goal, now you’ve just got to take it on to the next.”
Sounds like the new Bears wide receiver cannot wait to make his mark.
Beth Mishler-Elmore is a Heavy sports contributor based in the Midwest. She covers the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Heat for Heavy. She also covers the Bears for Bear Report, a CBS Sports affiliate. More about Beth Mishler-Elmore