It's Never Too Early to Get the Justin Fields MVP Hype Train Moving (And Other Bears Bullets)

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It’s Never Too Early to Get the Justin Fields MVP Hype Train Moving (And Other Bears Bullets)

Chicago Bears

Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday, so consider this fair warning to do what you need to do ahead of time. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was on this date in 2016 when I’d turn out spending the day with my mom on what turned out to be her mother’s last Mother’s Day. And I’d do it again if I had the chance.

  • Today is off to a gloomy start in Chicago, so let’s brighten some spirits:

  • “Justin Fields is going to be in the MVP conversation this season” are words we should get used to hearing between now and when Week 1 kicks off. And we should be ready to embrace it. There should be a bit of buzz surrounding Fields. He is a quarterback who played at a high level for an extended stretch while operating in his first year within a new offense while playing alongside a less-than-capable supporting staff. Serious upgrades along the offensive line, at receiver, and in the backfield should help bolster Fields’ play in 2023.
  • I know, I know. The MVP trophy goes to an individual. But this isn’t MLB where good players on bad teams win it. That just doesn’t happen at the NFL level. So, yes, it matters that Fields’ supporting cast is better positioned to help him this year.
  • Traditionally, the MVP goes to the QB on the league’s best team. So maybe we’re a year early in having this chat. This isn’t to say the Bears can’t be a surprise time. Heck, I think this team is well-positioned to make a run at a playoff spot by snagging a wild card berth. It’s just that they’re not in that upper echelon just yet. Even still … that we’re having this discussion already makes me feel good. It sure is better than the alternative of obsessively searching for a QB fit. We know all too well what it’s like to spend May mornings wistfully thinking about what it’ll be like to watch college football QB prospects vie for our attention.
  • After a slow three-game start, Fields went on an 11-game run in which he put up the following stat line: 162/252 (64.3%), 1,870 passing yards, 14 TD, 6 INT, 95.2 passer rating. Those are fine numbers, but the ground game excellence is what puts Fields in way-too-early MVP discussions. During that 11-game stretch, Fields had 123 carries, 916 yards, and 7 touchdowns. Let me do the math for you — that’s 7.45 yards per carry. Put the passing numbers up over a full 17-game season and it comes out to this: 250/389, 2,890 pass yards, 22 TD, 9 INT. On the ground, tack on 190 carries, 1,416 rushing yards, and 11 touchdowns. Those are mind-blowing numbers.
  • Although, I’ll remind folks of this: Fields expects to be running less and throwing more. Either way. If the Bears can get something like 35 total touchdowns from JF1 next year, the offense will be cooking. And if the offense is cooking, then maybe the defense won’t need to be all the way up to speed. But if it is and the Bears are winning, then we’ll be having Fields MVP discussions in December (not just in May).
  • At a minimum, the Bears have a quarterback you’d want on your fantasy team. When was the last time you were able to say that?
  • Love seeing this side of QB1:

  • Some student-athletes never go back to complete their college educations. And because there *IS* life after football, I find it encouraging to see Fields spent some time this offseason finishing the job. Good for him. I’m proud of him for this accomplishment. And I hope Bears fans feel that sense of pride, too. Getting to see it through to the end isn’t something we always get in life, so this is very cool to see.
  • I love this angle from the Sun-Times’ Jason Lieser: If Fields had everything he needs, so does play-caller Luke Getsy. There were so many times we saw Chicago’s offense cooking, only for it to bog down. So often, it felt like it was by design. It was like watching someone advanced for their age ride a bike with training wheels. Maybe it was a good thing that Fields had the training wheels because the bike he was given ultimately needed to be junked. But it made for some tough watches. All that to say that the training wheels better be off this year.
  • The NHL Draft Lottery is TONIGHT. Here’s what you need to know:

  • As someone who understands how one draft can change the fortune of a franchise, I’m hoping for the Force to be with the Blackhawks tonight.
  • Denver Nuggets star and two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic got a “T” for shoving the Phoenix Suns owner during a most awkward in-game confrontation. The NBA postseason scriptwriters are on one this year. (BN Bulls)
  • Willson Contreras returns to Wrigley Field for the first time as a member of the Cardinals. I have some pretty complex thoughts and feelings on Contreras. Because, on the one hand, he was one of my favorite Cubs from 2016-2022. His presence on the Cubs was kin to what Akiem Hicks meant to the Bears. However, on the other hand, Contreras has done everything in his power to go full wrestling heel since leaving. So much so that I don’t mind that he is gone. Bonus points for simultaneously sinking the Cardinals’ start of the 2023 season.
  • Brett has more on Miguel Amaya, the newest Cubs catcher who is the apple of our eye. (BN Cubs)

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.