Cole Kmet is turning into that guy for Justin Fields.
The Bears tight end entered entered play on Sunday leading Chicago in touchdown catches. During the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons, he showed why he’s become one of Fields’ most trusted weapons.
On first-and-10, Fields looked deep downfield to Kmet on a go route from the Chicago 49-yard line as the Bears tight end ran through the Falcons zone. His pass looked beyond Kmet’s reach. It wasn’t.
Kmet did his best Justin Jefferson impression, leapt in the air and snagged the laser with his outstretched right hand. He secured the ball against his body and maintained control for a 26-yard gain as Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell tackled him to the turf.
It was a play that would have made any of the game’s elite wide receivers proud. It set up a Chicago field goal, but it wasn’t enough to stave off a Falcons rally in a 27-24 Atlanta win.
A third-year pro, Kmet broke out as a reliable target last season, tallying 60 catches for 612 yards as a full-time starter. This season, he’s developing into a big-time playmaker. It’s no coincidence that he’s breaking out at the same time as Fields.
Kmet entered Sunday having caught five of Fields’ 12 touchdown passes on the season, including a 50-yard score against the Detroit Lions in Week 10
They’ve all arrived in the last three weeks as Fields has emerged as an elite dual-threat quarterback.
Chicago doesn’t have many playmakers around Fields. Kmet is the team’s second-leading receiver behind wideout Darnell Mooney. He’s proving to be more than just a safety valve for Fields.