CLEVELAND — — Justin Fields had a nightmare visit to Cleveland as a rookie.
This one couldn’t have gone much better.
Fields threw three touchdown passes in the first half, leading the Chicago Bears to a 21-20 victory in their final exhibition game over the Browns, who saw backup starting quarterback Jacoby for the first time in the game. Brissett on Saturday night.
Last season, Fields was sacked nine times, 4 1/2 by All-Pro Myles Garrett, and the Bears (3-0) were beaten by the Browns 26-6 at FirstEnergy Stadium. Chicago was held to just 1 net yard in what was one of Fields’ many tough outings.
“Of course,” Fields said when asked if he reflected on that Sept. 26 matchup. “Of course I was thinking about that and I’m glad 95 (Garrett) didn’t play today.”
With the Browns resting Garrett, Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward and a few other first-team players, Fields fired a 22-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ryan Griffin in the first quarter and then connected with wide receiver Dante Pettis and wide receiver Dante Pettis. tight end Cole Kmet for the touchdown. he plays in the second.
Fields looked comfortable and composed as he went 14-of-16 for 156 yards. He’s in a new system under first-year coach Matt Ebeflus, and Fields said the performance of Chicago’s starting offense could be a sign of things to come.
“Definitely a turning point,” he said. “We can build on that and next week we can improve.”
Cleveland’s backups rallied in the second half on a touchdown play by quarterback Josh Rosen that pulled the Browns (1-2) within a point. However, Rosen’s 2-point pass attempt to receiver Javon Wims was incomplete with 2:31 remaining.
This was Brissett’s first preseason action for the Browns, who are hoping the 29-year-old veteran can keep them in contention through December while Deshaun Watson serves his 11-game suspension from the NFL.
Brissett had some positive moments, missing running backs Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt or Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio, as he played six series.
He completed 13 of 23 passes for 109 yards with an interception, a decent performance but perhaps not good enough to end speculation that the Browns will seek outside help before the season begins.
“I thought today was a step in the right direction,” Brissett said. “Obviously we have more time in the next two weeks. But today was definitely a good springboard, getting in and out of the pack, calling plays, hearing it from (coach) Kevin (Stefanski). I thought today was good.
Brissett is scheduled to play through at least December, while Watson, who signed a $230 million contract with the Browns in March, is serving his suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Watson was accused of sexual misconduct and harassment by two dozen women during massage therapy appointments while in Houston. The three-time Pro Bowler begins his ban on Tuesday.
Brissett’s first pass was on target, but it slipped out of the hands of second-year wide receiver Anthony Schwartz, who had another knockdown and was booed hard. He’s been inconsistent all summer, but he’s not in danger of being released.
“We’ve talked about Anthony,” Stefanski said. “Anthony has talked to you guys. He is very responsible. So I know he wants to be better. I know he will work very hard.”
A SECOND PORTION
Browns backup quarterback Joshua Dobbs had another solid outing.
He threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Miller Forristall and followed it up by jumping the pylon for a 2-point conversion.
Browns rookie kicker Cade York put on a show in warmups, hitting field goals of 70 and 60 yards.
LSU’s fourth-round pick carried him into the game, converting kickoffs of 57 and 46 yards while driving a 58-yard left.
“I haven’t really felt anything different since college, just going out there and kicking the ball around,” York said. “I would have liked to see the one with the first kick pass. But other than that, I got reps, went out and felt comfortable.”
Garrett and Ward were joined on the Cleveland sideline by defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who was out of uniform after being excused from practice earlier in the week.
Bears linebacker Roquan Smith was supposed to play but was held out after experiencing strain during warmups. Smith missed Chicago’s first two games while putting together a “sticky” contract.
Eberflus did not specify the location of Smith’s strain, saying keeping him out was “a group decision.”
Bears: Bears DL Dominique Robinson (leg) was hurt in the second quarter and didn’t return.
Browns: Stefanski is optimistic Pro Bowl RG Wyatt Teller (knee) and S Grant Delpit (hip) were not seriously injured. They are likely to undergo further testing. Teller had a sleeve on his leg when he left the stadium. … OF Chris Odom (leg) was taken out in the fourth. He was the USFL Defensive Player of the Year.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Bears: Host the San Francisco 49ers in the season opener on September 11.
Browns: A meeting with former quarterback Baker Mayfield in the opening game at Carolina on Sept. 11.