How Much Did Justin Fields Move in Various QB Power Rankings After Week One?

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How Much Did Justin Fields Move in Various QB Power Rankings After Week One?

Chicago Bears

It wound up a surprisingly busy week of Cubs content, which means I (Brett) didn’t really get to dig in much on the Chicago Bears and their Week One win against the San Francisco 49ers amidst The Great Flood. Not that I usually do a LOT of Bears writing around here, but I like to try to dip my toe in every now and again to stay sharp and versatile.

One thing I wanted to look at was the national perception of Justin Fields after his performance in the game, with a brutal first half (the rain was unquestionably a factor, together with adjustments to the new personnel and a very good Niners defense), and then a very competent – if not downright excellent – second half. The punditry was EXTREMELY DOWN on Fields after last year and throughout the offseason (which was truly bizarre to me given the system he was asked to work with last year, all with no first team reps to prepare for his role as a rookie), but how was Fields being discussed after Week One of 2022?

The point, mind you, is NOT to offer these national takes as a useful evaluation of Fields going forward. There are local takes I trust more for that. Instead, I was just curious how non-Chicago-media folks were talking about/thinking about Fields after that first week.

Among the Quarterback Ranking takes I’ve seen out there, just for funsies …

  • Steven Ruiz’s rankings at The Ringer have been updated after Week One, with Justin Fields making the leap from number 29 to … number 28. Eat sh*t, Davis Mills! (He’s the new number 29.) Ruiz is extremely down on Fields’ pre-snap ability and decision-making skills, things that might be legitimate issues for Fields, though I don’t know how you could fairly evaluate them to date.
  • At CBS, Cody Benjamin has Fields up at number 22, again one spot ahead of Davis Mills. Must be some lumping there. Fields is up two spots from his ranking the week before, with Benjamin saying, “Like [Trey] Lance, he’s still iffy through the air, but his natural athleticism should always give the Bears a fighting chance. He showed some nice grit coming through late to upset the 49ers.”
  • Tim Bielek at Cleveland.com dropped rankings, which I mostly include because it’s the high water mark I could find for a Fields ranking: number 20. The rankings are based STRICTLY on Week One performance, which explains how Fields is four spots ahead of Aaron Rodgers, two spots ahead of Matthew Stafford, and seven spots behind his buddy, Davis Mills. “Fields Better Than Rodgers” is how I choose to read it.
  • Lastly, at NFL.com, Marc Sessler places Fields 22nd, up three spots from last week: “Fields recorded just eight completions in an upset win over the Niners in a driving rain. The elements make for a murky evaluation, but the second-year passer showed growth. Against a formidable San Francisco front, Fields magically escaped the rush, rolled to his left and uncorked one across the field to a solitary Dante Pettis for a 51-yard touchdown. He took advantage of another Niners breakdown on his scoring strike to Equanimeous St. Brown. Fields is visibly more comfortable than a year ago. Some of his best plays come on the move. If he can avoid hazardous reactions to pressure, the Bears have something intriguing on their hands.”

So, in the end, a few nice little bumps, which isn’t bad, based on a single week of action. Ultimately, I think that you can make a fair argument for anything in that 22 to 25 range, mostly because last week – while impressive in the second half in terms of the comeback and the composure – didn’t necessary tell you a whole lot.

If Fields were to come out and have a great-looking game in Green Bay this weekend, however, well, I think you’d see him take a huge leap in a lot of these rankings. That may or may not be legit, but it would mostly be a reflection of him getting more attention in the national conversation. You have to perform in marquee games for that to happen.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.