Justin Fields Guarantees He Will Set Bears Franchise Record in 2023

Justin Fields, Bears

Getty Quarterback Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears.

The Chicago Bears are one of the more storied franchises in the NFL, despite never fielding an all-time great at the game’s most important position — quarterback.

Not only has the franchise never produced a truly prolific passer, it has never employed a signal caller who eclipsed 4,000 yards in a single season. Justin Fields spoke with CBS Sports’ All Things Covered Podcast with Patrick Peterson & Bryant McFadden on Thursday, July 20. During the interview, the QB guaranteed that he will become the first Bears player to hit the 4K mark, adding that he plans on doing so as soon as possible.

I will,” Fields said of hitting 4,000 yards. “I plan on doing it this year, too.”

Justin Fields Aspires to be Best Passing QB in Bears’ Century-Plus History

Justin Fields 53-Man OTA

GettyChicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields.

If Fields can deliver on his guarantee, he will set the Bears franchise record in the category, and do so by a wide margin — a statistic that is more than a little surprising considering the franchise has existed for more than 100 years.

Quarterback Erik Kramer slung the ball for a total of 3,838 yards in 1995, which remains the team’s all-time mark. For context, the NFL single-season passing record belongs to Peyton Manning, who amassed 5,477 yards in 2013 as a member of the Denver Broncos. Heading into the 2023 season, the 4,000-yard mark has been eclipsed by NFL quarterbacks a total of 217 times, per Pro Football Reference.

Recent Bears quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Mitchell Trubisky were regular members of the 3,000-yard club (Cutler five times, Trubisky twice) while in Chicago. That neither player hit the 4,000-yard mark at any point is somewhat difficult to believe considering the evolution of the game into one defined by downfield passing attacks as much, or more, than any other style of play.

Justin Fields Nearly Made History as Rushing QB in 2022

Newton Fields Backup Bears

GettyQuarterback Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears.

However, the most shocking part about Fields reaching 4,000 yards in 2023, assuming he does, will be the massive leap in the QB’s game that such a single-season mark will represent.

Fields threw for just 2,242 yards across 15 games last season after producing 1,870 yards through the air as a rookie, per Pro Football Reference. The Bears have focused on adding weapons around Fields this offseason, trading with the Carolina Panthers for wide receiver D.J. Moore and signing backup tight end Robert Tonyan, formerly of the Green Bay Packers. Chicago also beefed up the offensive line, signing free agent guard Nate Davis and drafting right tackle Darnell Wright with the No. 10 overall pick in this year’s draft.

Chicago’s coaches have raved about Fields’ development over the offseason, which could combine with the roster upgrades around him to create a legitimate chance for the quarterback to eclipse the 4,000-yard barrier and make Bears history.

Fields was on the brink of setting NFL history last season as a rusher of the football from the quarterback position. He produced 1,143 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on a league-leading 7.1 yards per carry in 2022, which was good enough for second all-time.

With an average of 76.2 rushing yards per outing, Fields would have smashed the record for rushing yards by a QB had he played all 17 games rather than only 15 contests. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson holds that mark with 1,206 rushing yards in 2019, per StatMuse.

If Fields can put both skill sets together in 2023, he will be capable of accomplishing a lot more than just setting the Bears all-time record for passing yards.

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