(Audacy) The Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles both lost close contests in Week 9, but not all was bad for two teams without too much in the way of playoff aspirations this season. Both teams used a top pick in the NFL Draft last spring on a game-changing offensive talent, and those two players showed out in Week 9.
As is the case every week, Pro Football Focus published its grades for all the teams and players that played in Week 9, and Bears quarterback Justin Fields and Eagles wideout DeVonta Smith were tops at their respective positions.
Fields went 17-of-29 for 291 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the air and added eight carries for 45 yards on the ground. The pick was a bad result, but it was more of a testament to a great play from the Steelers' Cameron Heyward as opposed to sloppy decision-making from Fields.
Fields made big play after big play down the stretch for the Bears, doing everything in his power to lead a comeback. Darts down the field to Jimmy Graham and Allen Robinson and a late touchdown pass to Darnell Mooney gave the Bears a brief one-point lead before the Steelers responded with a game-winning field goal, and Fields' full skill set was on display as he made the analytics machines at PFF quite happy.
Fields' 90.5 offensive grade beat out Baker Mayfield (89.8), Matt Ryan (84.4) and all other quarterbacks, while his passing grade (88.5) was also on top of the bunch. It was by far Fields' best outing of the season analytically, building upon his previous best in Week 8, when he posted a 76.7 offensive grade.
In the receiving department, no wideout was better than Smith. Though versatile playmakers Cordarrelle Patterson (95.5) and Kenyan Drake (92.9) had superior receiving grades out of the backfield than Smith's (92.3), Smith had the best overall offensive grade (92.6) out of 99 players who got at least four targets in Week 9. It was a welcome change from Smith, who hadn't found the end zone since Week 1 and had only one other 100-yard game on the season, back in Week 4. Coming off a one-catch game for Smith, this was exactly the type of performance that the Eagles fan base needed to see, and he came through.
The Bears' Allen Robinson finished as the No. 5 wide receiver in terms of his receiving grade, which was also a refreshing sight to see and played a role in helping Fields to his awesome week.