Last season, Justin Fields started 10 games for the Chicago Bears. In that time, he only managed to lead them to a 2-8 record. The easy answer is to say that the o-line was the problem for the Bears offense. Yes, it was a major problem last year, but there are other factors for improvements. Justin Fields was sacked an astonishing 36 times this last season and was dead last in QBR with a rating of 26.4(Although that could be attributed to the only 10 games played) and low in other efficiency-type stats. But let’s look beyond the stats for a minute to see if he can lead the Bears offense back to the NFL Playoffs.
Justin Fields Rookie Season
If you take a look at all of Justin Fields interceptions (click here!) thrown you can see a majority of them weren’t especially his fault.
His accuracy and vision needs work and he made some clear rookie mistakes. Sure, but most of them were not because of him. Whether it is the defensive line that tips the ball up, or the receivers who drop it down. Fields has that “Russell Wilson-esque” mobility and playmaking ability. He can extend plays and move around in the pocket to buy himself more time. If he can improve his throw on the run, and his vision in general, he could easily be a top 10 QB and lead a team to the NFL Playoffs.
The Rest of the Bears Offense
Let’s start with RB David Montgomery; with him on being IR and missing 4-5 weeks opened up the door for Khalil Herbert to shine. Despite only starting two games, he finished the season with 433 rushing yards, and 2 TD’s. He has a 4.46 40 time, which he can use to easily break away tacklers. Paired with Montgomery’s powerful yet balanced running; this pair could combine for 2000+ yards for the Bears offense. Fields himself this last season ran for 420 yards, and 2 TD’s. The Bears offense will need a dynamic run game if they are going to return to the NFL playoffs.
I predict Justin Fields running over 600 yards this next season.
The Pass Catchers
The WR group this year started off thin and uncertain. Star Allen Robinson’s contract was on a franchise tag. There are rumors of him either tanking to get a better contract (or to play for a better team). That, or the bears wanted to “Disrupt” his wishes of being signed to another team. Either way, another receiver had to step up. That receiver was Darnell Mooney. Mooney had a breakout year by having 81 Rec. 1005 Yds. And 4 TD’s. Mooney’s play style is very similar to that of Deebo Samuel. He can run those gadget plays where he’s in the backfield, or even at quarterback.
The rest of the WR depth chart is all downfield/kick return speed guys. Rookie Velvus Jones Jr. had 4.31 40 time, and won SEC Co-Special Teams Player Of The Year. They also have return-like players such as Marquise Goodwin, and Damiere Byrd. Overall, I think this WR can manage to bring Field’s numbers up, at least a bit; something that is needed if the Bears will return to the NFL playoffs.
TE, Cole Kmet has yet to be a real threat. He needs a real consistent QB to be a top 15-20 TE. He has the same body type as T.J. Hockenson: big, somewhat fast, and has the strength to break tackles. This last season, Kmet was targeted 93 times and had no touchdowns. If he and Fields can get build a rapport, this will be a deadly duo.
Overall, I think this Bears offense has a chance to breakout. Between the work Justin Fields has been putting in, and the improvements from last year for the Bears offense. I don’t know if the Bears are necessarily a NFL playoff team. They are however, a surefire improvement over the 6-11 Bears.
I predict they go over .500, so a record of at least 9-7
If you agree or disagree, please feel free to reach out to me on twitter @Eaglesfan983