Back in the 2021 draft, Ryan Pace made a blockbuster trade to move up to the 11th pick in the first round to draft Justin Fields. That trade and consequent pick made Chicago Bears fans finally have a feeling of happiness since the (I’m sorry I have to say it) double doink that sent them on the path to rebuild. But since that draft night excitement, the hype surrounding fields and the faith that he’d be the first true franchise quarterback in Chicago history has mainly gone down, with the few positives and flashes coming in the offseason or preseason or garbage time. So… Is it time to panic on Justin Fields and his future as the cornerstone of this franchise that desperately wants more than mediocrity.
Short Answer, NO! Justin Fields has only started 13 regular season games, that in itself is too small a sample size while also just not being enough playing time to see if a quarterback is on the path to proper development. NFL fans have been spoiled by Patrick Mahomes electrifying first year as a starter or Justin Herbert’s immediate success or even Joe Burrow’s incredible bounce back from an ACL injury all the way to a Super Bowl appearance. But, take a step back and look at some other elite quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers sat on the bench for three years while not looking like a future viable option and now he makes me cry on a yearly basis. Josh Allen really looked like a strict bust until his 3rd season where he took that leap in the right situation. And while he’s not there yet, Tua Tagovailoa is finally looking capable of leading a team down in Miami, the only undefeated AFC team left, now in his third year where just before the season many people around the league thought he was a lost cause. The point is that while it may be very frustrating to watch the guy we want to lead us to the promise land downright suck, it’s all a process. We watched 4 years of Mitch Trubisky mediocrity, we haven’t even seen one full season of the insanely talented Justin Fields.
On the contrary, his recent play has been historically bad. The rushing attack has been one of, if not the best ground game in the league and there still has been zero pass production. There are so many excuses you can give to Fields, but a large portion of the blame unfortunately falls to him. The Bears have called some of the lowest percentage of passing plays ever in the Super Bowl era, good run game or not, the lack of faith the play calling has shown in him is more than concerning, it’s downright frightening. The offensive line has also looked improved from last year, so why isn’t Fields taking advantage? He’s been holding the ball too long without committing to a scramble or a throw and it leads to more sacks and hits than he needs to take. Upon first viewing even I will just think, “Wow no one must be open downfield”, but a quick refresh of Twitter has shown multiple times this season he’s hesitated on an open receiver or just flat out missed him. At Ohio State, Fields was known for his deep balls and letting it fly and for whatever reason he seems to have lost either confidence in himself or his receivers and hasn’t played the way he is supposed to. Simply put, Justin Fields needs to step up and play his game.
Everything said however, like I originally answered: DO NOT PANIC! Justin Fields still has massive potential to be that guy, the first 4,000 yard passer in Chicago Bears history, and a franchise quarterback that puts us on top for a long time. As fans or just casual observers, it’s easy to overreact because of how fast paced and high powered offenses are these days. Take this as a reminder to sit back, relax, take a deep breath, and just be happy that despite Fields early season struggles, the Bears are 2-1 with a vastly improved defense and run game from last year. Let’s just let the new coaching staff do what they’re there for and give them time to develop Fields and then make our judgments if we see further regression or stagnance for a full season. Not to mention, Justin Fields is known to want to be better and play with a lot of heart. We still have fourteen games to go. Have a little faith and Bear Down!