Why the stats do not tell the whole story for Justin Fields
The funny thing about statistics is that people can spin them in so many ways — it is all a matter of what narrative you want to write. Recently, ESPN analyst, Kevin Seifert wrote an article about Justin Fields that essentially states that Justin Fields is going to be a bust unless he becomes the first quarterback in history to overcome specific statistics that Seifert throws at you.
To Seifert’s credit, he does talk about how we shouldn’t write off a rookie quarterback after nine starts and also speaks to the fact that Fields is not being helped offensively. The problem is that those few nuggets do not hide the fact that Siefert’s article is essentially a slam job.
Stats do not tell the whole story for Justin Fields in his rookie season
Context always matters in regards to stats and well, there is usually another stat out there to prove essentially the opposite. Before we dive into all of that, it is funny how the article is focused on Justin Fields, yet Zach Wilson is worse in the main metric ESPN is pushing (their own metric) — QBR.
When Mitch Trubisky was here, he actually had what many would consider a much higher QBR than Justin Fields. For example, in Trubisky’s rookie season, he finished the year with a 32.4 QBR. Although not great, definitely wasn’t the target of ESPN in his rookie season (2017). In his second season, Trubisky’s QBR shot up to 71.0 and he was third in the NFL.
Many of you are probably not Mitch Trubisky believers. This is where we differ, but as I have said on numerous occasions, I would take Justin Fields over Trubisky without even a second thought. The Matt Nagy effect is (was) a big problem for both of these QBs and it shows. Even Kevin Siefert pointed out how the play-calling has not been very helpful for Fields. If I had to guess though, the play-calling probably was not too great for the likes of Josh Rosen, Blaine Gabbert and Jimmy Clausen.
We should not ignore flaws that we have seen by Justin Fields this season, but at the same time, we have to look at the whole picture too.