Tracking Justin Fields progression with Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

With the Chicago Bears at their bye week, it is a better time than ever to look back at how their rookie quarterback has progressed. While fans want wins, they know that the biggest factor of the year will be the development of the player they traded up for. Justin Fields came in early into the game week two and has not looked back, appearing in seven games, and throwing 13 or more passes in eight of them.

Early into his tenure, we looked at his first couple of games to track his progression noting that CPOE, EPA, a combination of the two, as well as success rate gave us a nice blend of skills to track and show what type of progression Fields has made.

With that in mind, how have things gone from Week two through the bye?

Justin Fields Completion Percentage Over Expectation

Below is a chart of his CPOE. CPOE is a great gauge of how accurate a quarterback is and how often he is able to complete passes that others may not have. The chart on the right shows his cumulative CPOE, and how it has tended through the year. The left is a week-by-week view of how Fields has performed.

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Like every chart we look into, we are going to see the Browns game stand out as a huge dud. Still, the biggest factor is that his next game saw him shoot up and get him back in the right direction. Fields never had a game that low, and you can see from his cumulative total that the number is basically on an upward trajectory every week.

It helps when you start that low, but the weekly CPOE chart shows context that his most accurate game was against Detroit, but after his first two games, his accuracy steadily improved. His base rate has been positive in the past three games, and all three have trended up.

Expected Points Added

CPOE tracks accuracy more while EPA looks at what type of plays are you making. Below we can see his cumulative and weekly totals in how many points he is adding to the offense.

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Week 7 was poor against the Buccaneers. In CPOE he was inaccurate, and could not complete a pass. Against the Bucs, he was turning the football over at a much higher rate and was costing his team more points. The difference makes it good to evaluate both stats.

Still, we also see that while Detroit was his most accurate game, he was a bigger playmaker against the 49ers. He has also had a positive EPA in four games, two coming in the last two weeks.

Finally, you can see that while his EPA did take a hit due to the Bucs game, it still could not bring him down from where his first two starts were. That is because he had strong enough play in weeks five and six. Finally, we once again see that the past two weeks show him performing at the best of his career, and the overall trajectory is strong in the positive direction.

EPA + CPOE Composite

Below shows how the two combine and weigh together. We see that Fields once again peaked against the Lions and 49ers. However, his CPOE against the Bucs helped him from having a disastrous game, where the Cleveland game was a poor CPOE and EPA showing. Also, weeks five and six were not quite at the Lions and 49ers level either.

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Still, we once again see him start around 0 for Cincy. He drops down far against Cleveland, the next six games show a steady climb in the positive direction. The cumulative chart is nearly linear in a perfect progression.

Success Rate

CPOE highlights accuracy, EPA highlights playmaking, Success Rate highlights efficiency. Can Justin Fields keep his offense on schedule and move the sticks consistently?

The chart below once shows a strong correlation to growth.

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Fields once again was poor against Cleveland, and while he dipped against Tampa, was much more efficient down-to-down. The big turnovers killed him. Still, efficiency-wise, he peaked against San Francisco and not Detroit.

Again, you can see that he dips from week two to three, but from three on he is on the upward trajectory.

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After his impressive Monday night football performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers some fans may not need this to tell them how Justin Fields has progressed. Still, it is great to see that your eyes are not lying, and that Fields is a much better quarterback today than he was six weeks ago, and that his trajectory has him finishing the season strong.