Are Justin Fields and Darnell Mooney the next dynamic NFL duo?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Despite a sloppy and brutal Monday Night Football loss, the 2021 Chicago Bears have the beginning of a strong NFL duo in Justin Fields and Darnell Mooney. Of his 111 completions, Fields has close to 30 with Mooney. While they may not be there yet, the potential for Fields to Mooney to be a dynamic NFL duo is definitely in the works.

Fields to Mooney isn’t just something that sparked this past game but has been in the works since the offseason when Fields was first drafted. Back in OTA’s in the summer, Mooney spoke very highly of the rookie quarterback, particularly of his strength with the deep ball.

“I’ve caught one or two deep balls from him,” Mooney said. “The very first one that he threw up to me I was smiling mid-route of just seeing the ball in the air and just where it was placed. He’s very accurate with his ball and he understands exactly where he wants the ball.”

Their chemistry continued to grow both on and off the field, especially once Fields took over as the Bears starting quarterback. Patrick Finley of the Sun-Times noted that Fields owed Mooney pushups after the Las Vegas Raiders game. It wasn’t for anything during a game, however: Fields apparently lost a bet to Mooney during bowling. Their off-field chemistry may not seem like a necessity, but a strong off-field connection can translate on the field.

As Fields continues to play, the lack of reps he received with the starters during the preseason will no longer play a huge factor. Even fellow receiver Allen Robinson admitted that the chemistry between him and the rookie is still being worked on after the Bears brutal loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year.

Again, the dynamic of Fields to Mooney didn’t happen overnight. Fields has stated that he and the former Tulane player have been working behind the scenes to get extra reps together.

Ultimately, Fields elevates Mooney’s blazing speed and ability to open up gaps in the defense. Meanwhile, Mooney allows Fields to test defenses deep and also roll out and rework to him. There’s no better example than Fields’ touchdown throw to Mooney to give the Bears the lead over the Steelers

As one of the only receivers under contract in 2022, Mooney could shift into a larger role on offense next season. The Bears will likely retool this offense, meaning Fields will have to get used to a whole new set of weapons. Having a consistent presence in Mooney can make that transition happen quickly.

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Ultimately, there’s no guarantee that Fields to Mooney will be Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams or Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski. However, as Fields continues to progress and get better, he’ll look to Mooney as a reliable receiver in this offense. It will be worth watching how the duo end this season after their bye week, but the blueprint is there for Fields and Mooney to be the next big thing.