Justin Fields had probably one of the worst starting debuts by a rookie quarterback in a long time. He completed just 6-of-20 passes for 68 yards and was sacked nine times. He never really had a chance. The Cleveland Browns brutalized the Chicago Bears offensive line and smothered the receivers. As a result, even when there were opportunities Fields wasn’t able to find them. Some were surprised he made it out in one piece.
It would’ve been easy for a young kid to get discouraged by such a performance. Especially a competitor like Fields. In truth, there wasn’t much use being upset. The rookie knew he’d have to shrug it off and play better next time. Don’t dwell on the mistakes. Fix them. That is what he set about doing this past Sunday against the Detroit Lions. It was here that Bears fans got their first glimpse of how good the quarterback can be.
His stat line went 11-of-17 for 209 yards and an interception.
Don’t be deceived. He played far better than the numbers suggest. Fields was on the attack all afternoon, striking the Lions’ secondary four separate times on pass plays of 20 yards or more. Easily the most explosive outing by a Bears quarterback seen in years. He showed calm in the pocket and steady command of the offense. One that scored 24 points and could’ve had more if not for one or two slight miscues. Former All-Pro cornerback Aqib Talib called that game for FOX Sports. He was suitably impressed.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 4, 2021
Remember the perspective that Talib brings to this. He played a long time in the NFL and was teammates with both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. The guy has seen the best to ever do it play quarterback. For him to heap such praise on Fields is a welcome sign, and is confirmation of what fans saw in that game. Sure it was the Lions, but considering it was his second-ever start and coming off that debacle in Cleveland? It was an exciting day.
Justin Fields was making throws only good QBs make
It’d be one thing if he just managed to hit guys who were wide open for big gains. A couple of those long throws were absolute pin missiles. There was the one he dropped in the bucket to Darnell Mooney along the sideline with a corner in his hip pocket. There was another to Allen Robinson that Fields delivered between a linebacker and corner for 28 yards over the middle. Then there was that sideline dime to Robinson even with a defender having a hand in the vicinity.
Those were throws people expect to see from guys like Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, and Russell Wilson. To see a rookie in his second start make them? That bodes well for the future of this franchise. If the Bears continue to nurture him and surround him with better protection and weapons?
This offense has a chance to really take off in the future.
For now, all they can do is focus on getting him more valuable snaps. Next weekend might be the biggest game of the year. On the road against the undefeated Las Vegas Raiders. A win would set the Bears up for a huge divisional showdown with Green Bay. Try to imagine if Fields pulls that one off. There would be no stopping the hype train at that point.