If the Chicago Bears were paying attention this weekend, there’s a very important lesson they could learn from one of their NFC North rivals.
The Minnesota Vikings took control of the NFC North this weekend via a wild 33-30 win over the Buffalo Bills. The game was an instant classic that will be talked about for years.
One of the most memorable plays from the game was a catch by Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson on fourth and 18 that kept Minnesota’s drive alive.
It’s one of the most impressive catches I’ve ever seen (maybe the most impressive).
JUSTIN JEFFERSON CATCH OF THE CENTURY. pic.twitter.com/Cos6v0yPIC— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 13, 2022
So what’s the lesson here?
It’s that Chicago needs to find Justin Fields some weapons at wide receiver. That has to be their focus this offseason.
The Vikings don’t win that game without that catch. If Jefferson doesn’t reel that pass in, the ball is turned over on downs and the Bills have a chance to run the clock out.
(Minnesota didn’t score after getting to the goal line, but because they had the Bills backed up, they were able to cause a fumble and recover it in the end zone to take the lead.)
It feels like some teams believe they can get by without superstar wide receivers (such as the Green Bay Packers apparently believed entering the season). But that catch from Jefferson shows us how important it is to have an elite pass catcher. The Cincinnati Bengals with Ja’Marr Chase are another great example.
The Bears have plenty of needs. But they’d be wise to target an elite wide receiver in the first round of the draft. Analysts questioned the Bengals when they drafted Chase over an offensive lineman in 2021, but after a trip to the Super Bowl, that decision obviously proved to be the right one.
I’m not saying Chicago will go to the Super Bowl next season if they land an elite wide receiver in the draft, but it would at least give them a fighting chance. And most importantly, it would aid Fields’ development.
Featured image via Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports