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Notes: Is using a ‘spy’ an effective way to stop Bears QB Justin Fields?

The Detroit Lions have sent mixed messages on using a QB spy, but would it even work vs. Justin Fields?

Miami Dolphins v Chicago Bears Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Earlier in the week, Hamza Baccouche posed a question to our readers asking how many yards Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields might roll up against the NVP Detroit Lions defense. Hamza thought Fields could put up big numbers against Detroit on the ground, and the bearer of magnificent mustaches found a great video showing why:

Defending running quarterbacks has been an issue this season, and head coach Dan Campbell offered thoughts on Wednesday about trying to stop Fields:

Pride of Detroit readers might recall that after the Lions were gashed by Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts in the season opener (and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder in a preseason game), Detroit linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard maintained a pretty tough stance against using spies on quarterbacks.

At the start of this season, the Miami Dolphins felt really good about using crazy athletic (9.69 RAS) rookie Channing Tindall as their spy against running quarterbacks, but it was like trying to put in specific defenses to stop Kevin Garnett. I promise you Tindall tried, but it didn’t work. That’s Tindall in the first play of the clip and the image at the top of this article wearing jersey number 41 for the Dolphins.

The video clip from NFL Matchup on ESPN backs up what coaches Campbell and Sheppard are saying, assuming the spy thing from Campbell is a smokescreen. Greg Cosell’s two example plays show both the ineffectiveness of a spy against a tremendous athlete like Fields (reinforcing Sheppard’s message) and then the difficulty experienced by young quarterbacks against varied looks (which is what Campbell emphasized).

Can the Lions keep Fields to under 100 yards rushing? It’s going to be on defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and his green dot leaders on defense to call a great game. Now, on to the rest of your weekend Notes:

  • Based on how often he is being double-teamed, it looks like teams are quite worried about Aidan Hutchinson:

  • Fearless Leader Jeremy Reisman joined the Bears Talk Underground podcast to preview the upcoming game between the Lions and Bears.

  • For those who might be wondering about those heavy run formations with 6 or more linemen in the game, perhaps the Lions should lay off of it a bit (negative DVOA is bad):

Lions are also not doing great in sub package defenses (negative DVOA is good on defense - this is a huge split):