Why the stats do not tell the whole story for Justin Fields
Proof is in the pudding with this slam job by ESPN on Justin Fields
Let me leave you with a few random stats to further prove differences here and how ESPN has elected to not look into things enough outside of their beloved QBR stat.
ESPN has Justin Fields ranked 32nd among QBs in Off-target Rate, yet Pro Football Reference has Fields Bad-Throw% ahead of Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence. He’s also not too far off (21.9%) from Lamar Jackson (19.7%), Patrick Mahomes (19.6%), Tom Brady (19.0%) and Aaron Rodgers (19.0%). His On-Target% also compares at 72.7% to Lamar Jackson who is at 73.3% and Tom Brady who is at 74.8%. His On-Target% is also better than Trevor Lawrence (69.6%) and Zach Wilson (69.6%). One has to wonder why these two are not being bullied by ESPN.
It should also be noted that the Chicago Bears are third in the league in Drop% (6.9%). Furthermore, Justin Fields quarterback rating this season is currently 73.2, while Josh Rosen finished his rookie season at 66.7, Blaine Gabbert finished his rookie season at 65.4% and Jimmy Clausen finished his rookie season at 58.4. These are the three players Kevin Seifert of ESPN lumped in his article to compare to Justin Fields and although quarterback rating is flawed too (all stats are on their own), it seems to show a more accurate measure here than the ESPN QBR stat.
I say this because if we go back to the Aaron Rodgers and Tim Tebow comparison, Rodgers finished with a 117.0 quarterback rating, while Tebow finished with a quarterback rating of 101.7. Looking at the Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tom Brady comparison we discussed, Fitzpatrick had a quarterback rating of 89.3 at the time, while Brady had a quarterback rating of 113.5. Again, I’m not trying to say quarterback rating is what we should be looking at, but clearly, it seems more reliable than QBR most of the time.
There are flaws in how QBR is calculated, and although the ESPN article by Kevin Seifert makes this the emphasis and history speaks for itself, I guess what I am getting at is that Justin Fields will be the first quarterback to vastly improve and become a top-tier talent. The point here is that the stats do not speak for themselves and context must be used to truly evaluate Justin Fields. Check out Dan Orlovsky for some great insight on Fields this season.
You can write this down or tweet it out at the @oldtakesexposed. I will gladly die on this hill.