LeSean McCoy highlighted that Justin Fields has had a tremendous four-game stretch of running the football, but his sample size in the same time frame as a passer has still been bad.
LeSean McCoy appears to be the only NFL analyst willing to say the harsh truth about Justin Fields. While other analysts are hysterically claiming Justin Fields should be in the NFL MVP conversation, LeSean McCoy is correctly highlighting that Fields is still struggling to throw the football from the pocket. The fact of the matter is Justin Fields still isn’t showing the ability to go through his progressions consistently enough to make plays in the passing game.
Even after trading for Chase Claypool to elevate the receiving talent on the roster, the offense still hasn’t clicked in the passing game.
LeSean McCoy emphasized that it’s Fields’ inability to throw the football that will potentially keep big-time receivers from coming to Chicago.
— Speak (@SpeakOnFS1) November 16, 2022
In his four games since the Bears started catering their offense to Justin Fields’ strengths Fields is still averaging a horrible 6.7 yards per passing attempt which is near the bottom of the league overall. What Fields has done is made more plays in the red zone with his legs which puts more pressure on the defense in such tight quarters.
In the fourth quarter, the Bears offense has disappeared the last two games with Fields only able to lead the Bears on two scoring drives over the last two fourth quarters. As I have already pointed out, the Bears’ defense held the Dolphins to zero points in the fourth quarter of the Bears’ three-point loss. Yet another massive missed opportunity in a close game for the Bears. Fast forward a week later, and Fields nets the Bears only 24 yards over the final two drives after scoring a 67-yard TD with his legs.
To say that Justin Fields hasn’t been getting the job done in the passing game is an understatement that highlights his failure to do the most important job of any QB, play at a high level in the fourth quarter. When teams force him into throwing from the pocket, the failures he had in college arise again in his pro game.
Fields isn’t throwing the ball as often as any other QBs but he’s not getting the same level of production out of his attempts that he should be. It’s one thing if Fields’ few attempts were still netting the Bears’ average yards per attempt that you would see from a QB making more attempts but you’re not.
The Bears meanwhile have been protecting Justin Fields better since Larry Borom was benched and Lucas Patrick went down with an injury. Cody Whitehair’s return, combined with Riley Reiff’s insertion at right tackle should hopefully give the Bears the best evaluation of Fields over the next seven games.
Ultimately with Claypool in the mix and Mooney and Cole Kmet fully realizing their potential these last seven games will be critical for Justin Fields. Mooney didn’t become a horrible receiver from last year to this year, a surefire number one receiver Mooney may not be, but he still is capable with better production coming from the QB.
Fields will need to grab the bull by the horns this weekend in Atlanta because it will provide yet another opportunity to come out with a win against a team that has as little talent on their roster as the Bears have on theirs. That is the biggest excuse being afforded that LeSean McCoy correctly attacked, the Bears have no talent. Fields isn’t the only QB in the history of the NFL to have little to no talent surrounding him during his first two years in the NFL.
The Chicago Bears don’t exist in a bubble where only their players are victimized by poor officiating, where only their QB has ever had poor pass protection, and where only their QB has had horrible receivers.
Those reasons however are the consistent sack of excuses Bears fans continually draw from the explain-away poor QB play over the last 13 years. Just wait until he has a better offensive line, just wait until he has better receivers, just wait until he has a better scheme, just wait until he has a better play caller. And yet none of those players blossomed in or outside of Chicago no matter what changed.
Justin Fields will have the rest of this season and all of next season (with the expectation of better talent around him) to prove us wrong. For now, Fields needs to elevate the Bears over these last two months of the season to prove the doubters wrong.
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