That was…something. A game the Chicago Bears were expected to have no chance of winning was surprisingly close in the fourth quarter. That was thanks largely to Justin Fields. The second-year passer finished with 247 total yards, two passing touchdowns, and zero interceptions. It was the first time in three weeks he can boast that.
He did, however, take quite the beating once again absorbing six sacks. That brings his season total to 46 to lead the league. The last quarterback with a sack rate that high to start double-digit games was David Carr with the Houston Texans in 2002
Carr, who took 76 sacks that year, never overcame that trauma.
Before that, you would have to go back to 1977 to find Craig Morton, the last player before Carr to get beaten up as much as Fields is this season.
Justin Fields Sends Strong Message on Future With Bears
Fields Doesn’t Want to Run
Fields had 95 yards on the ground in the Bears’ 25-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15. He was asked after the game about going for the quarterback rushing record of 1206 yards set by Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens in 2019 when he won MVP. While Fields won’t win the award, he did say he might as well go for the record.
“It means a lot,” Fields said at the postgame podium. “Of course, I told you guys this earlier in the week, I couldn’t be here without God, I couldn’t be here without my teammates and coaches, them pushing me every day, my teammates pushing me every day at practice, us pushing each other, them blocking for me on the field, blocking downfield. I couldn’t be here without them. “
He became just the third quarterback in NFL history to rush for over 1000 yards in a season setting a franchise record in the process.
Watching this on repeat 👀
📺: #PHIvsCHI on FOX pic.twitter.com/1Sq23zM2dJ
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 18, 2022
The second-year man out of Ohio State was also adamant that he would prefer this to be a one-off. He also pointed out his game was not about running in college. Fields rushed for 1133 yards in two-plus years for the Buckeyes.
“I don’t plan on rushing for a thousand yards every year.”
Fields would need to average 68.7 yards on the ground over the last three weeks to break the record.
He has averaged over 100 yards on the ground for the last eight weeks.
The young quarterback has been a spark in a dim season and has done whatever was needed to get the job done. But this needs to be just the latest sign from Fields that the front office needs to get him some help, much in the way the Eagles have gone about building their roster both before and after Jalen Hurts’ ascension.
The Bluprint To
Fields has dealt with numerous bumps and bruises this season, including having to leave this game with a hamstring cramp. He said going forward that he will need to ensure he receives additional fluids via IVs. But he has also missed a game with an injury and has complained of having tired legs and not getting the calls other quarterbacks do.
If there is one thing the Bears’ front office needs to take away from this, it’s that they have to take the burden off of Fields’ legs. His growth as a passer needs to be recognized, perhaps, especially in light of the situation.
On Sunday, Fields top wideout was Byron Pringle who had two grabs for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Matt Everflus called Fields’ comments “great” and said it points to his enthusiasm to be a passer. He also noted that playmaking wideouts such as the Eagles’ pair are “something that you need to have”. Bears general manager Ryan Poles has to foster that with a solid offseason. He will have plenty of financial flexibility and the NFL’s ultimate draw – an electrifying quarterback under center in Fields — at his disposal making for a strong sales pitch to prospective free agents.
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