The drumbeat is growing louder by the day as Justin Fields continues to impress in his limited playing time for the Chicago Bears. All it takes is listening to the home fans, who roared as the second half began at Soldier Field against the Buffalo Bills with Fields getting his opportunity under center.
Despite playing with backup linemen and skill players, he did not disappoint.
His full range of athleticism was on display, showing glimpses of the promise that the Bears brass hoped for when they traded up to select him in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. There’s reason for excitement in Chicagoland.
The Bears have the NFL’s next great dual-threat quarterback in Fields.
Justin Fields flashed his speed
When Fields took the… field, I guess… he instantly looked like the most physically gifted player on either side of the ball. His escapability was apparent, as he routinely evaded pressure and scampered for chunk plays.
Most impressively? He kept his eyes downfield, running with the intention to pass, not just to tuck it and run. When the play was broken down, however, Fields looked more than capable of doing significant damage with his legs.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” Fields said, according to the Chicago Suns Times. “I’ve been one of the fastest guys on the field. I’ve had a lot of experience doing that, so when I do escape the pocket, I keep my eyes downfield.
Considering his offensive line is going to be mediocre at best, and potentially horrible, being able to extend the play is a great benefit to have.
Fields’ receiving options did him few favors
Fields’ final stat line on the day was 9/19 passing for 80 yards, with 4 rushes for 46 yards on top in a lopsided 41-15 losing effort. It doesn’t look great, but neither did his receivers.
It was already 34-6 at the start of the second half when he finally got his chance.
A few throws got away from him, but his receiving options should have reeled in roughly five more catches than they did, including a beautiful deep shot to Riley Ridley that he wasn’t able to come down with.
If head coach Matt Nagy wants to get a feel for what his quarterback is capable of achieving in this offense, then he needs to put Fields out there with the starting offense and some talent that will give him at least a little help.
It should clearly be a part of the Bears third preseason game script next weekend against the Titans.
Fields is a rare mold that can do things that few others can
During the 2019 pre-draft process, now-Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray’s 40-yard dash time was set with an over/under of 4.44 seconds by Bovada Sportsbook, according to Raising Arizona. Murray represents another in the new wave of hyper-athletic quarterbacks, much like Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens.
Fields ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at his Pro Day.
Murray is 5-foot-10 and 207 lbs. Fields is 6-foot-3 and 227 lbs.
His athleticism to go along with his size, paired with his arm talent and accuracy, has Fields poised to take the mantle as the next great dual-threat quarterback in the NFL.
Now stop messing around and give him the starting job, Matt Nagy.