There were several peaks and valleys in Justin Fields’ rookie season, but the Chicago Bears’ quarterback showed enough flashes to have the fan base excited about his sophomore campaign.
Fields completed 58.9% of his passes for 1,870 yards, seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 12 appearances and 10 starts last season. He also added 420 yards and two scores on the ground, but he fumbled 12 times, recovering just four of those. The 22-year-old signal-caller displayed a keen play-making ability at times, like on this TD run against the San Francisco 49ers:
Other times, he looked every bit the rookie:
Fields missed the final three games of the regular season due to an ankle injury followed by a subsequent positive COVID-19 test, so he hadn’t spoken to the media in a while. He took to Twitter on January 17 to comment on his rookie season while also giving fans some encouraging words about the future.
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Fields: ‘The Best is Yet to Come’
Fields gave a nod to those who helped him along the way last year, and he also had a message about his football journey:
“Shout out to my family, friends, and teammates for helping me get through Year 1,” Fields tweeted, adding: “Everything happens for a reason and it’s all just a small part of the journey. The best is yet to come.”
With the Bears currently shopping for a new general manager and head coach, Fields will be working in an entirely new offense next season, which will likely be a good thing considering how universally panned former head coach Matt Nagy’s offensive scheme was.
“Ultimately, if you really try and define Matt Nagy’s offense … with multiple changes they’ve had, the multiple players they’ve had at the quarterback position, I think at times it lacks an identity,” said ESPN analyst Matt Bowen told Adam Jahns and Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic on January 14.
“Some sources suggested that Nagy was hired as a head coach too early in his career, that he needed more time calling plays in Kansas City and more seasoning overall,” Jahns and Fishbain also reported. “Walkthroughs were a mess,’ … and the lack of accountability at Halas Hall showed up in penalties during games. Nagy connected well with some players, while his grip on others faded as the losses mounted and fingers pointed.”
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Fields Needs to Cut Down on the Turnovers in 2nd Season
For what it’s worth, the young QB knows he needs to improve his ball security.
“That’s been the story,” Fields said about turnovers on December 20. “That’s been the story of the year for sure. It’s just shooting ourselves in the foot. Once we eliminate those penalties, sacks on my part where I should just throw the ball away, throw the ball down to the ground, once we eliminate those, then we start seeing more points come up on the board and more success from the whole team. I thought the defense played great tonight, and they put us in a position to win.”
Fields was also sacked 36 times, and Chicago’s offensive line allowed the most sacks in the NFL last season (58), so if the team helps him out and adds a few brutish o-linemen before its 2022 campaign begins, that certainly wouldn’t hurt. Either way, Fields is both self-aware and ready to work, both of which are good signs for the Bears moving forward.