Some quarterbacks take longer than others to get themselves going in the NFL. Chicago Bears fans hoped this was the case with Justin Fields. It makes sense. He had to switch offensive schemes going into his second season. The offense around him isn’t very good. It shouldn’t be a surprise he might struggle early in 2022. One quarterback that followed a similar track was Josh Allen, the Buffalo Bills’ emerging superstar.
People would have a hard time believing he was considered a borderline bust early in his second season. After three rough games to start that year, things hit a low point in Week 4 against New England. Allen threw three interceptions and completed only 46% of his passes. Bills fans were starting to lose hope. Then things finally came together in Week 5. Allen threw for 219 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and completed over 71% of his passes. It was the turning point of his season. The first sign he’d figured some things out.
Don’t look now, but Fields reached Week 5 in Minnesota. Like Allen, his first four weeks were rough, with two TDs, four interceptions, and failing to eclipse 200 yards passing. Then in a game where his team needed him, Fields delivered one of the best performances of his career. He finished 15-of-21 for 208 yards, one TD, and ran seven times for 48 yards. The Bears would have pulled off an epic comeback win if not for a late defensive breakdown.
Justin Fields never looked out of control in Minnesota.
That is what stood out the most. Despite a hostile stadium and a pretty good Vikings pass rush, the second-year QB stayed composed. He overcame some early missed opportunities and finished the first half strong. Then he came out slinging it in the second. Of the 271 yards the Bears had in the game, he was directly responsible for 245 of them. That was a clear-cut case of a quarterback putting a team on his back and almost willing them to a win.
Opportunities to build some momentum lay ahead. The Washington Commanders are up next on Thursday Night Football. Their pass defense ranked 24th in the NFL going into this week. Justin Fields can send a message to the rest of the league on national TV with a big performance at Soldier Field. Maybe that will give him the confidence to deal with the murderous back-to-back games against New England and Dallas that follow.
Either way, it feels like Sunday was a turning point for Fields. He looked like a professional quarterback for the first time. If this trend holds, Chicago could be in business come 2023.
Post Views: 2,372