NFC Exec Gets Candid on Bears’ Use of Justin Fields

Justin Fields

Getty One NFC exec likes what he's seeing from Justin Fields and the Bears offense.

The Chicago Bears have lost four of their last five games, yet the general air around the team has been positive, chiefly due to the success of second-year quarterback Justin Fields.

The Bears are 3-7, but there are several arrows pointing up for them, starting with the growth shown by their young signal-caller. Fields has 749 rushing yards heading into Week 11, which is ranked sixth in the NFL (running backs included) and while he still can improve his game in multiple areas, he has also gotten better in the passing game in recent weeks. The 23-year-old QB has completed at least 60% of his passes in each of his last four games, and he has also shown marked improvement in the red zone.

Fields is also leading the best rushing attack in the NFL. Chicago has rushed for more than 230 yards in six of its 10 games so far this season, and it’s because offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has tapped into Fields’ skills as a runner, as well as his ability to throw while on the move.

The Bears may not be winning a lot of games, but Heavy’s insider Matt Lombardo spoke to one league executive, and it’s clear Fields is opening eyes around the NFL.

NFC Exec: Bears Are ‘Being Really Smart’

“Justin has a lot of talent, I like him a lot,” an NFC executive told Lombardo, before comparing what the Bears are doing to a very successful AFC franchise. “And they’re being really smart because they aren’t walking in there saying, ‘You have to run my offense.’ No, you have to adjust your offense to your players. Especially your quarterback. That’s what they’re doing, similar to Baltimore … they know what it takes for Lamar [Jackson] to be successful, and the Bears figured out what Fields does well, and they’re doing it.”

Fields has yet to attain the levels of success a guy like Lamar Jackson has, but if he continues on the path he’s on, it’s possible. Jackson had an All-Pro campaign in 2019, also, winning the league’s MVP award that year. He had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons in 2019 and 2020, and has been named to the Pro Bowl twice in the last four years.

Fields hasn’t earned those types of accolades yet, but he is showing incredible promise in Year 2. He is just the fifth player in the Super Bowl Era to have at least one touchdown pass and one rushing touchdown in four consecutive games. The other four QBs to do it are the Arizona Cardinals’ Kyler Murray (2020), the St. Louis Rams’ Jim Hart (1968), Ryan Tannehill of the Tennessee Titans (2020-21) and Michael Vick while he was with the Philadelphia Eagles (2010).

Playmakers Emerging Around Fields in Bears Offense

While wide receiver Darnell Mooney established a solid connection with Fields in 2021, others are emerging this season, including tight end Cole Kmet, who has five touchdown catches in his last three games.

“Yeah, I would say it’s pretty amazing,” Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said about his QB on November 16. “The numbers and the ability to run — and then see his growth in the passing game. And really, to see all those guys around him starting to gel with Mooney and Cole really starting to gel around him.”

So far in 22 games (20 starts), Fields has 3,359 passing yards and 19 touchdowns to go with 1,169 yards and eight scores on the ground. If newly acquired receiver Chase Claypool can also start to vibe with Fields, things could get very interesting in the remaining games for Chicago.

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