Bears receiver Darnell Mooney catches a pass Sunday. | David Banks/AP
Justin Fields might be the best thing to ever happen to Darnell Mooney.
Rookie quarterback Justin Fields might be the best thing to happen to receiver Darnell Mooney.
With Fields at the helm Sunday, Mooney posted 125 receiving yards, 32 more than his previous career high. His 135 all-purpose yards — Mooney also had a 10-yard run — were the most of his career. His 64-yard catch in the first quarter was the longest of his career, too.
”Me and Mooney, we stay almost every day after practice to throw at least a few extra routes,” Fields said after the Bears’ 24-14 victory. ”So me and him are pretty much always on the same page. He had a great day. He balled out.”
Mooney said practice during the Bears’ trying week was ”amazing to be a part of.” That included the extra work he got in with Fields.
”Just getting some reps in,” he said. ”Being more defined in the reps, locking in and not being so tight. And just having fun.”
Mooney was averaging 7.7 yards per catch entering the game but averaged 25 on Sunday. The Bears’ blocking gave him time to go deep. After giving up nine sacks against the Browns — the second-most in franchise history — the Bears allowed only one.
”They played their butts off,” coach Matt Nagy said.
Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks injured his groin on the Lions’ first play and was taken to the locker room shortly thereafter. The Bears ruled Hicks, who landed awkwardly while trying to make a tackle, out at the start of the second half.
”It’s tough when you lose a soldier and a vocal leader like Akiem,” inside linebacker Roquan Smith said. ”But it’s the next-man-up mentality, and I know he’s going to do everything in his power to get himself back in the best situation for himself and the team.”
Getting their takeaways
The Bears’ two takeaways came inside their own 10. From the Bears’ 8 in the first quarter, Lions quarterback Jared Goff watched the shotgun snap bounce off his thigh and bicep and land in defensive lineman Bilal Nichols’ arms.
From the Bears’ 3 in the second quarter, Goff dropped back and was sacked by Robert Quinn, who poked the ball loose. Fellow outside linebacker Khalil Mack recovered it and ran, though was flagged for lateraling the ball forward to safety Eddie Jackson. It was Quinn’s fifth sack of the season.
”You need time to get there, so coverage had their people locked down,” Quinn said. “Got an extra second or two to get to the quarterback.”
This and that
In his first regular-season game since Dec. 15, 2019, nose tackle Eddie Goldman started but wasn’t credited with a tackle. He sat out last season because of coronavirus concerns and missed the first three games of this season with a knee injury.
o Quarterback Andy Dalton, who was ruled doubtful late Saturday, didn’t dress. Nick Foles served as the backup.
o Strong safety Tashaun Gipson missed his second consecutive game with a hamstring injury.