Earlier this season, Justin Fields mentioned he felt robotic when he performed. He needed to play free and spontaneous.
No matter has modified since then, it is working.
Fields has been excellent the final two weeks after a tough begin to the season. He was 15 of 29 for 282 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 40-20 win over the Washington Commanders, the Bears’ first win of the season. It was the kind of recreation that provides the Bears hope that Fields can put all of it collectively and grow to be their quarterback of the long run.
There may be some sophisticated choices to be made earlier than the draft subsequent April, however that is far down the highway. Proper now, the Bears have a 24-year-old quarterback who has proven lots of progress the previous two video games.
Justin Fields has two huge weeks
Final week Fields had a powerful recreation in opposition to the Denver Broncos. He threw for 335 yards, 4 touchdowns and one interception. The Bears blew a 28-7 lead and misplaced, and Fields was a part of that, but it surely was a very good passing day.
Fields doubled down on that Thursday. By Chicago’s final two video games, he has 617 yards and eight touchdowns. His 11 passing touchdowns this season are tied for the NFL lead. That can change when video games are performed on Sunday, but it surely’s a great place for Fields to be.
It is solely two video games, and in opposition to a horrible Broncos protection and a Commanders protection which may not be significantly better, but it surely’s undeniably progress for a quarterback who is not even one-third of the way in which into his third season.
“Simply poise. I noticed poise your complete time,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus mentioned after Thursday’s recreation. “You could possibly see him being comfy within the pocket, going by means of his reads, delivering the ball on time.”
Each week within the NFL is a referendum on all people. That is only a byproduct of the acute curiosity within the league. Take a look at Fields. A pair weeks in the past, the reply on whether or not the Bears ought to decide to Fields long run gave the impression to be a transparent no. The final couple weeks, he has pushed that reply nearer to perhaps. He has the remainder of the season to make it a sure.
That reply may be the largest piece to the NFL’s offseason puzzle subsequent 12 months.
Bears like Fields’ momentum
In 15 of the final 21 years, the primary general decide went to a staff that began 0-4, in keeping with Yahoo Sports activities’ Charles Robinson. That is about 71.4 %. There have been two 0-4 groups within the NFL, and the Bears owned the 2024 first-round picks for each.
Even when Thursday’s win was an indication of the Bears breaking out and enjoying higher the remainder of the season, they nonetheless personal the 0-4 Carolina Panthers’ first-round decide. If the Bears get the primary decide, and even the second, they will have a really fascinating determination to make. At that time, will Fields have performed effectively sufficient for Chicago to cross on an elite prospect like Caleb Williams? And even Drake Maye with the second decide? If the Bears commerce the primary decide to a QB-needy staff, it may convey again a historic haul.
It will have appeared like a non-question a pair weeks in the past. Fields’ deficiencies as a passer have been picked aside. However since then Fields has had the 2 finest passing video games of his NFL profession. He put up the one two four-touchdown video games of his profession in back-to-back weeks. He has thrown for greater than 254 yards in a recreation 4 instances, and two of them got here in a five-day stretch. The 2 finest passer rankings of his profession have been Sunday in opposition to Denver and Thursday in opposition to Washington.
He is nonetheless not a cultured passer, however he is a younger participant with a first-round pedigree who’s enhancing. That is a wonderfully affordable place to be at this level in his profession.
“He is actually studying the place, studying the offense, simply rising,” Eberflus mentioned. “Now he is beginning to get the fruits of his labor the final couple weeks, and we will construct on that momentum.”
If Fields continues to play like he has and the Panthers proceed to play like they’ve, what the Bears do would be the speak of the offseason. These choices will not occur for a very long time (and Williams has choices to make too, concerning if he’ll come out or keep at USC). All that issues for the following few months is determining what they’ve in Fields. The final two video games are beginning to change that narrative.