This quandary obtained me to connect myself to the kitchen desk for 2 days and grind by each snap of Fields’ 13 video games this season. (He missed 4 video games due to an injured thumb on his passing hand.)
I discovered Fields’ tapes laced with breathtaking performs and “what are you pondering?” moments. The movie additionally left me questioning about Chicago’s offensive workers, which does not appear to play to Fields’ strengths.
For instance, Fields has had success with a shifting pocket, which makes defenses extra reactive to the QB and buys receivers time to get open. However the Bears do not do a lot with a shifting pocket, which has led to Fields getting sacked 44 times, the fifth most within the league.
Fields’ tape can be affected by errors that may break an offensive coordinator’s coronary heart — 9 interceptions, 24 passes damaged (per my charting) and 10 fumbles (per StatMuse). Plus, he has produced a measly four passing plays of 40+ yards, per NFL.com.
However sufficient with negatives. Here is what Fields does effectively and my evaluation of what the Bears ought to do with him this offseason.
1. Run, Justin, run
Regardless of the excessive sack whole, Fields is slippery within the pocket, and as soon as out within the open, he accelerates and may simply make a defender miss. The truth is, a lot of his 124 carries for 657 yards this season weren’t designed runs however slightly the results of him holding the ball too lengthy and taking off from the pocket. He is a gifted runner and a risk much like Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson.
2. Downfield minded
It is easy to see on movie that in Fields’ thoughts he is a QB first ⎯ and a runner a distant second. He has the uncanny potential (to a fault when he cannot really feel stress) to maintain his eyes downfield. This moreover permits him to improvise when taking place, someway finishing quick passes sometimes.
3. Quick-to-intermediate passing recreation
Fields has great pocket maturity when he is not overthinking it. He will get the ball out of his hand quick on quick lateral screens or over the center to his tight finish. He is respectable (however inconsistent) doing this on the intermediate stage (11-19 yards).
It is a powerful name, however I would stick to Fields and construct round his strengths. He is bettering as a passer, upping his completion share every season since 2021 from 58.9% to 60.4% to 61.4%.
One other indication Fields is the man surfaced in Week 12 towards the Vikings, when he started enjoying with much more urgency and willpower. This actually was particularly evident on movie in Week 16 towards the Falcons.
The regular-season finale towards the Packers put somewhat damper on his momentum. In Chicago’s 17-9 loss, Inexperienced Bay sacked him 5 occasions and disrupted three passes. Working a conservative game plan, Fields went 11-of-16 for 148 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions.
After reviewing my 2021 NFL Draft report on Fields, nonetheless, I’m reminded that the third-year QB could be a showstopper — a barely youthful model of possible 2023 NFL MVP Jackson, who’s 26. Behind Jackson, Fields is the second-fastest quarterback to succeed in the milestones of 5,000 yards passing and 2,000 rushing.
Chicago has a novel likelihood within the 2024 NFL Draft to construct round Fields. With the No. 1 general decide and a No. 9 choice within the first spherical, the Bears can add a fantastic receiver (Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr.) and a top-notch offensive lineman.
The Bears (7-10) and Fields are trending up. Dance with the QB who introduced you this far, Chicago.