Comparing Justin Fields rookie season with Chicago Bears to Trevor Lawrence

Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2021 NFL draft will be looked back on as historic as three quarterbacks went in the top three, and two more went in the first round. With the Chicago Bears taking one of the five quarterbacks, he is always going to be compared to these names as he progresses.

How did his first season stack up to some of these other names? Trevor Lawrence was expected to be the best of the bunch, was he better than Justin Fields as a rookie? Bears fans cannot use the argument that Justin Fields was in a worse situation than the Urban Meyer debacle.

Comparing Justin Fields rookie season stats with Chicago Bears to Trevor Lawrence

Thanks to football reference, and, we are able to compile a list of stats to see how Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence played compared to each other.

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The obvious factor off of the cuff is that Lawrence played a full season, and Fields not only missed time with injury, but he also was not the week one starter. This could be factored into his issues, but it does give Lawrence the clear leg up when it comes to volume stats.

While Lawrence has seven more interceptions, Fields did have a higher interception rate. He also had a higher sack rate. This is why you can see that net yards and adjusted net yards per attempt favor Lawrence.

However, yards per attempt, adjusted yards per attempt, and passer rating all go to Justin Fields.

Advanced Stats comparison

RBSDM has a combination of EPA + CPOE, which are both explained in the image below, thanks to Tucker Boynton. In that area, Fields has a 1.4 rating, and Lawrence is at 0.9. A lot of this can come down to Fields having a higher CPOE, as you can see in the chart below. Lawrence does have a higher EPA, even on a per play basis, and adjusted.

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In the context area, you can see that Lawrence had a better line, but Fields actually had better weapons. Also, while Lawrence had a slightly higher DVOA, Fileds had a better DYAR. They are both rather close, and you could go back and forth, but the big difference is sacks.

You can argue that Fields is the better rusher with 86 more yards on one fewer carry. That is in part why his EPA composite score is still higher than Lawrence’s. Still, the sacks he is taking are weighing him down.

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It hurts that he has a poor offensive line, but some of these are on him as well. The difference in line play favors Jacksonville, but not at the rate that Fields takes more sacks. If Fields could clean up the sacks that he takes, he would be proven to be the better bet moving forward, but that brings too many questions compared to Lawrence, who is avoiding sacks.