This is going to be a make-or-break season for Justin Fields. No matter what happens around him, the Chicago Bears need to see something out of Fields to believe he is their man. So, while we cannot overreact to one game, we can look into it and see how Justin Fields performed and find potential trends.
What are some keys stats to takeaway from his first performance of 2023
3. Justin Fields took less sacks under pressure, but the Chicago Bears allowed more pressure
One of the big talking points all offseason was Justin Fields taking fewer sacks. He took four on Sunday, which was 9.8% of his dropbacks. That actually was a drop in sack rate from his career number of 13.2%. Last year, he took a sack on 14.7% of his attempts.
The thought was that if Fields took fewer sacks himself and the offensive line improved, this number would drop in a big way. Well, Fields took fewer sacks himself. His pressure-to-sack rate was 15.4% per PFF. This is not great, but this is passable. If he did that all year, he would improve in a big way. His career rate is 25%, and last year he got sacked 27.1% of the time he faced pressure. So, despite four sacks, he actually did well at avoiding them.
That is because Fields faced pressure 53.1% of the time in week one. That is up from 45.7% last year and 42.8% when Fields was a rookie. So, Justin Fields improved in this area, but the offensive line somehow was worse. If the line improves and Fields maintains that rate, the offense may actually be okay. However, the interior looks as bad, or worse than last year.