The Chicago Bears are 2-1 since Justin Fields returned to the starting lineup, and you could argue that he played well enough for the team to be 3-0. Fields has come back with more confidence, a better understanding of the offense, and, more importantly, better skill players and the best offensive line of his career. What are the three biggest differences that have shown in his play since his return?
3. Justin Fields is taking fewer sacks for the Chicago Bears
One of the biggest issues with Justin Fields throughout his career is how many sacks he takes. Fields is still taking some sacks, but the number is down significantly. Fields is taking a sack 8.6% of the time since returning from his injury, which is reasonable, especially with a career rate of 12.7% and coming off of a year with a 14.7% rate.
In the first six games, he was taking a sack of 14.8%. The big difference comes down to him. His pressure-to-sack rate is down from 22.8% to 16%, so about the same drop as his overall sack rate. He is still about the same amount of pressure; he is just taking fewer sacks when he sees the pressure.
One of the big differences is his throwaway rate. Fields throw the ball away 16% of the time since his injury. That is up from 10.9% beforehand. Once again, a 6% drop. So, he was playing hero ball and trying to make the most of every snap. That included not throwing the ball away under pressure and taking too many sacks. Now, he is living to fight another down.
If Justin Fields can play this style of football, the Bears can live with his sack rate, knowing that he creates big plays. Can he finish with a sack rate under 10% from week 11 on?