The Chicago Bears made a bold move during the 2021 NFL Draft when they traded up with the New York Giants for the chance to select Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. Things didn’t look great for him as a rookie, as he struggled and things looked like they could get worse in 2022.
It was not a stretch to say that Fields was in the worst situation of any young quarterback in the NFL and was in the running for the worst in recent history. Chicago was under a new regime, which meant not only learning another new offense, but the team was rebuilding. That meant the talent level around Fields was relatively low as veterans were offloaded or left in free agency.
Those struggles persisted the first month of the season as the offense was a mess. Fields had very little talent to get the ball into the hands of and he didn’t look very comfortable leading the offense himself. Some games in poor weather certainly didn’t help his case, but in the last month and a half, something has begun to click.
Fields is looking more and more like the star we saw at quarterback for the Buckeyes. The coaching staff is beginning to lean more into his strengths and he is getting comfortable in this offense. His legs remain his best weapon at this point, but the passing game is certainly improving and coming along.
ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky actually believes what Fields is achieving deserves some MVP consideration. He knows that Fields isn’t going to be a legitimate contender for the award based on the lack of success the Bears are having and how well other players around the league are performing, but Orlovsky does believe what Fields is doing deserves more credit than he is currently receiving.
“I honestly believe Justin’s play is going to warrant him getting into [the MVP] conversation. … He has been so remarkable over this last month.”
From Week 5 on, Fields has thrown for 10 touchdowns compared to only three interceptions, flipping his ratio as he threw only two in the first four weeks of the season compared to four interceptions.
On the ground, he is on pace to break the single-season rushing record for a quarterback, which is 1,206 held by Lamar Jackson in 2019, his MVP season. Justin Fields is tracking to gain 1,348 rushing yards based on his per-game average. He already has 749 yards and six touchdowns on the ground this season, as he is currently sixth in the league in yardage and tied for sixth in rushing touchdowns.
Once the Bears put some more pass-catching talent around him and he continues developing his passing game, there is no telling the heights that he will be able to reach. Chicago looks to have found a franchise quarterback, now they just need to put the right pieces around him.