Coming from Ohio State, Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields understands the significance of huge rivalries.
The Ohio State-Michigan rivalry is the most storied in college football — but getting the best of Michigan in his time with the Buckeyes was one thing. Playing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the oldest rivalry in the NFL is another — particularly considering how the Packers have dominated the Bears in recent years.
Green Bay is 19-3 against the Bears since 2011, and Rodgers has been a huge reason why. But Fields isn’t looking at his first career start against his team’s biggest rival as the “Justin Fields vs. Aaron Rodgers Show.”
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Fields Offers Insight on How Bears Can Beat Packers
“I’m pretty familiar with it,” Fields said on October 13, when he was asked about the Bears-Packers rivalry. “We know we have a big opportunity ahead of us. We’re going to do everything we can to prepare for this game and be the most ready we can be. Hopefully we play well on Sunday.”
The rookie QB also revealed what he thinks his team must focus on in order to turn the tide in the rivalry.
“Executing and making plays. Of course we know they’re talented on offense and defense, so it’s just going to come down to executing and making plays,” Fields said.
He’s not wrong — but the young signal-caller is going to have his work cut out for him against a Packers defense that is going to try to make him uncomfortable at every turn. Matt LaFleur is also 4-0 vs Matt Nagy, so the Bears are going to need a complete game in all three phases.
Just don’t expect Fields to get starstruck playing against Rodgers.
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Fields Has Blunt Response to Rodgers Question
Fields was asked if he tries to emulate certain aspects of Rodgers’ game, and he answered in the affirmative.
“Yeah, I just like how he’s always in rhythm when he plays the game. That’s a piece of his game that I try to emulate in mine,” the rookie QB said.
Fields also gave credit where credit is due where the reigning MVP is concerned.
“I’m excited,” Fields said about the opportunity to play against an NFL legend. “He’s a Hall of Fame quarterback. He’s a great quarterback. He’s been playing since as long as I can remember. I know it’s gonna be a good matchup between him and our defense. Our defense has been playing well. I’m excited to see him play.”
When asked if he has ever gone up against a quarterback like Rodgers, Fields noted that in college, the equivalent was Trevor Lawrence, but he doesn’t see this as a matchup between QBs.
“To be honest, I don’t look at it as a matchup between me and Aaron,” Fields said. “I’m simply doing whatever I need to do to help my team win. If that’s hand the ball off 80 times during a game or if that’s throw for however so many yards, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not worried about comparisons between touchdowns, stats. I’m worried about winning. That’s it.”
Then, Fields was asked: “Isn’t there an instinct to say: ‘Hey! That’s Aaron Rodgers, I want to do better than him?'” The rookie was blunt in his response:
“No. My job is to win. My job isn’t to be better than any quarterback. As long as we win, I’m doing my job the right way.”
Once again, he’s absolutely right, but he’ll face the toughest test of his young career Sunday against Green Bay. We’ll see how his first chapter in the rivalry goes.