PFF ranks Justin Fields of the Bears 18th best quarterback in the NFL – NBC Chicago
PFF ranks Justin Fields 18th best quarterback in the NFL originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Pro Football Focus recently released their quarterback rankings for the upcoming 2023 season. They ranked each team’s projected starter at the position.
Bears quarterback Justin Fields ranked 18th on the list. He slides to one spot below Daniel Jones and one spot above Ryan Tannehill.
“Fields landed himself a starting job last season with almost no help around him,” PFF wrote. “New general manager Ryan Poles stripped down the roster of talent around him, and Fields was still able to emerge as one of the most dynamic players in the league.
“His passing is still a work in progress, but last season his main targets were tight end Cole Kmet and speedster Darnell Mooney. It’s a huge year for Fields to show what he can do with more power. ‘aid.”
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That last sentence quickly and accurately sums up how Fields and the Bears should be viewed as they enter the next phase of their rebuilding next season.
In summary, Fields had a troubled two years as a Bears signalman. On the visual test, he adds a lot of hope and value to the Bears’ offensive woes. He’s an elite runner, a deep-ball threat, an extraordinary out-of-pocket passer, and a developing locker room leader.
The numbers, however, didn’t show much of his ability to pass the ball effectively. In two seasons, he has just over 4,000 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, 21 interceptions and a completion percentage below 60%.
His quick numbers helped him, as evidenced by his 17th-ranked QBR, which factors in rushing stats. Last season, Fields rushed for 1,143 yards — the second most by a quarterback in NFL history. He has become one of the most elite quarterbacks in the game.
Additionally, Luke Getsy and the Bears have centered their offense around the ground game. Due to their talentless receiver core and protection issues, they created an offense suited to the strengths of the team. Primarily, rushing the ball and using their strong rush protection to move the ball.
They became the most prolific running team in the league. The Bears led the league in rushing attempts and total rushing yards (3,014 yards). They broke the season record for rushing yards and broke the 3,000 yard mark for the first time in franchise history.
This season, however, they have different plans. Fields mentioned last season that he hoped to run for no more than 1,000 yards each season.
In turn, the Poles and company came out and traded for DJ Moore, signed Nate Davis as their right guard, and drafted Darnell Wright to become the team’s presumed starting right tackle. They reinforced weak points in the attack to give Fields a chance to create a successful attack.
Therefore, this season is imperative for Fields’ future.
It falls to Fields to create a semi-decent offense the Bears can work with. He must show tangible improvements in the passing game. The Poles did their job. It’s time for the coaching staff and Fields to do theirs.
Overall, PFF’s ranking seems like a fair assessment, given that Fields’ legs have carried his offensive star power at this point in his career.
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