3 stats Chicago Bears need to see Justin Fields improve in 2023

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
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Chicago Bears, justin fields
Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

2. Justin Fields must release the football quicker for the Chicago Bears

One thing that could limit the sacks that Justin Fields takes would be by limiting his time to throw. Some of this is effective because Fields scrambles in the pocket more than most and creates big plays. However, there are other times when Fields tried too hard to keep something alive when a short completion was there. He can no longer pass that up, and he has to play within the offense to a point.

Matt Eberflus talked about the reality that Fields can be a playmaker and take risks in the pocket on third down, but on first and second down he needs to focus on moving the ball within the offense. This makes sense.

In 2021, his time to throw was 3.06, which was third in the NFL behind Jalen Hurts and Jameis Winston. In 2022, that number shot up to 3.45. He was playing hero ball. The next highest was DeShaun Watson at 3.31, and he had the same issues. Lamar Jackson was at 3.11, and last year Jalen Hurs led the league at 3.18.

Even with Hurts, when he made the jump that Justin Fields is hoping to make, his time to throw dropped from 3.18 in 2021, to 2.86 in 2022. Even if Fields gets back to 3.06 like he did in 2021, that is high, but a significant drop down from what he did last season.

As shown by Hurts' progression, the more decisive he becomes in the pocket, the bigger playmaker he can be. If he could get his time to throw under three seconds, he could become that multiple-level player that Hurts became last season. Now that the pocket will not immediately break down, and now that he has quick outles, and now he has two years in the Luke Getsy offense the ball has to come out quicker.