The Chicago Bears spent the offseason building a team around Justin Fields. They had the chance to take a quarterback first overall and turned that into D.J. Moore, Darnell Wright, and more, all in an effort to make the team better around Fields.
Still, if things go the wrong way, and they pick in the top five for whatever reason, a lot of the excuses that Fields had last season will not be the same this season. No one is saying that Fields has to walk away from the MVP or with the Bears in the Super Bowl to believe in him in the long term.
However, the Chicago Bears should want to see improvements in the following areas from Justin Fields.
Justin Fields pressure-to-sack rate with Chicago Bears must decrease
The debate over whether Justin Fields takes too many sacks or whether his offensive line allows too many sacks has turned into the chicken and the egg. You can make a good case for both, and nobody can ever say because both have their share of the reasoning.
The note to watch for Fields will certainly be his sack rate, but more than that the Chicago Bears need to see some improvement in his pressure to sack rate. This rate is far more about the quarterback because every QB will face pressure, the question is how often does that pressure turn into sacks?
In 2021, he had a 23.8% pressure-to-sack rate which is the sixth worst in the NFL, behind just Tyler Huntley, Ben Roethlisberger, Zach Wilson, Joe Burrow, and Baker Mayfield. Three of those players are not starters now.
Last season it jumped to 26.6% He was behind Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford, Deshaun Watson, and Baker Mayfield. Again, not the names that he wants to be associated with.
So, yes, some of this is coming down to the fact he also faces pressure 45.7% of the time, most in the NFL by a decent bit. However, he has to limit the percentage of times that the pressure turns into sacks. If the combination of Nate Davis and Darnell Wright can reduce the pressure rate a bit, and he can reduce his pressure to sack rate, then his sack rate could actually see a significant drop. If that does happen, the Chicago Bears will have an easy decision to make this season.