We can grovel about a significant number of things regarding the 2022 Chicago Bears. But one thing I think we can all agree on is that Justin Fields is better now than he was at the end of the 2021 season.
Remember coming into the year thinking about how this was a “prove it” year for the second-year quarterback? Or how it was a season in which the only thing that mattered was Fields’ development? Well, we can now close the book on Fields’ second season as a pro because he won’t be playing in the regular-season finale. And while I was hashing out the numbers, I noticed some key stats showing Fields was on an upswing:
Wow! We really saw Fields make improvements in completion percentage, touchdowns, quarterback rating, touchdown percentage, and interception percentage. This isn’t to say Fields is a finished product. Hardly. But it is undeniable that the arrow is pointing up.
Again, Fields still has work to do. And I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes about getting after it. For instance, Fields can get that completion percentage a few ticks higher with better ball placement (some more sure-handed receivers could help, too) next year. And that interception rate can come down a bit with better decision-making. But a quarterback’s progress, growth, and development aren’t always linear. We should keep that in mind as we dissect Fields’ game. However, there is no denying his evolution as a QB.
And to further bang the drum on that front, let’s visit this thread:
You can read through the entire thread here. And I think you should, especially if you want a more comprehensive understanding of how I tried to lay things out.
Again, there is still so much more that Fields can achieve. But in a year where we needed to see apparent growth from Fields, we saw it. Despite quarterbacking a franchise amid a teardown, throwing to an uninspiring collection of pass-catchers, and playing behind an offensive line that figures to see three new starters next year, Fields took a significant step forward in his development. And that was nice to see.