Reason No. 1: Justin Fields has shown a clear path of progression in rookie year
To start this off, I want to again go at this in the most unbiased way I can. That being said, for those who actually watch the games rather than the box score, the progression of Justin Fields is one of the most clear-cut parts of his game thus far.
After Fields’ first NFL game in Cincinnati following an Andy Dalton injury, people were rightfully skeptical of the rookie. Fields finished the game 6/13 (46.2% completion) for 60 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception.
Since then, it’s seemed like a straight line of progression. Unfortunately for the Chicago Bears and Justin Fields, his final game of the season came Week 12 against the Minnesota Vikings. That game, he was 26/39 for 285 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions.
Now, if you want to look at how Fields performed his first six games compared to his last six games, there’s actually a graphic that shows a clear progression in every measured category but one.
The only start to not make an obvious jump is his big-time throw %. Now, whether that was due to play design or flat-out execution isn’t clear, but going from 6.9% to 6.5% isn’t a major difference.
The stats that pop out to me are passer rating (61.8% to 84.0%), yards per attempt (6.2 to 7.6), interception % (4.6% to 2.9%), turnover worthy play % (6.87% to 3.60%), and rushing yards per attempt (4.1 to 7.4).
Obviously, it’s a small sample size, but the progression is clear and evident. Does this mean Justin Fields is going to be the next Tom Brady? No, that’s not what I’m saying, but what I am saying is that this type of progression week-to-week should be incredibly eye-opening to those in charge of the Chicago Bears.
Not only that, but now that Justin Fields is the alleged starter moving forward, Fields should get reps with the first-string players during the offseason and OTAs. That’s if the Chicago Bears decide not to be foolish and stick with the guy they traded up for in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Ready for the next reason? Good!