Nobody wants to think their entire future hinges on five games in the NFL. Yet that is the stark reality facing Justin Fields. As of this moment, the Chicago Bears hold the rights to the #1 pick in the 2024 draft. Everybody believes the quarterback crop next spring is one of the strong in recent memory, headlined by USC star Caleb Williams and North Carolina standout Drake Maye. Fields has played better over the past two months, but the consensus is it hasn’t been good enough to justify keeping him for a fourth season.
Still, the evaluation isn’t complete. There are five games left. The Bears are 4-4 in their last eight games. If Fields can string together some wins while looking solid along the way, it might sway the argument in his direction. That is a lot of pressure. Conversations have been relentless on what fate awaits him in January. One would think Fields is tired and annoyed hearing about it. Yet when reporters asked him about whether such a reality is fair, his answer was remarkably mature for someone his age.
He is focused only on what he can control.
“I mean, life isn’t fair. So me personally, I’m just focused on what I can control, and the rest is in God’s hands.
Wherever, if I’m here next year, if I’m not, football doesn’t define who I am as a person. My happiness will still be in the same place, will still be in God. And really, just football-wise, life stuff in general, I think my faith in God, my hope in God, is just so much more than anything that can be thrown at me on this earth. Yeah, I mean, that’s why I don’t really stress over stuff like that, over stuff that I can’t control. I know that God’s got me, and I’m going to be good. I’m very blessed in the position I am in, and I think a million people would love to be in the position I am right now. So really just, I’m not taking that for granted and just taking each and every moment I have every day up here to the fullest.”
Justin Fields’ only way forward is to win.
That might not be fair, but it is the harsh reality. He’s won seven games in his career. Wins aren’t strictly a quarterback stat, but they are tied closely to the position. One can’t ignore that Fields tends to play his worst in the 4th quarter. His most recent game in Minnesota was another example, losing two fumbles. Sure, he managed to lead the comeback for a win, but much of that was aided by the Vikings not having Kirk Cousins or Justin Jefferson. Upcoming opponents aren’t likely to give him many freebies.
Subscribe to the BFR Podcast for analysis, insight, and discussion about Chicago Bears football.
It starts with Detroit on Sunday. Justin Fields should’ve beaten them last time before another 4th quarter collapse. This time, they’ll be without one of their best defenders, Alim McNeill. Then he must go into Cleveland against their top-5 defense. After that comes a homestand against Arizona and Atlanta. Those are the two most winnable games on the schedule. Finally comes a rematch against Green Bay, one of the hottest teams in the NFC. If ever there was a time for his first win against the Packers, it will be that one.
Here is hoping he makes the statement he wants to.