Analysis

Justin Fields Flashes Perfection In First Half vs. Cleveland

Justin Fields against Cleveland

As much as is possible in a preseason finale, Justin Fields quieted doubters and created a sense of optimism for his second NFL season. The Bears starting quarterback attempted only 14 passes in the Bears’ first two preseason games. Saturday night against the Cleveland Browns, Fields attempted 16, and he was just shy of perfection.

Fields threw touchdown passes on three of the five series he captained the Chicago offense. He completed 14 of his 16 attempts for 156 yards. He did not take a sack, picked up 11 yards on a pair of carries and looked very much like the high-end quarterback the Bears traded up to acquire in the 2021 NFL Draft, and hoped he would grow into quickly.

Each of Fields’ three scoring drives was an orchestrated effort. He took Chicago 80, 52 and 62 yards to the end zone. The series were seven, five and eight plays, respectively. Fields did so by fitting the ball in tight windows and did not back down from challenging the Browns’ secondary.

In the process, Fields became the first Bears quarterback to throw 3 touchdowns in a single preseason game in more than a decade. His 156 yards were also the most for a Chicago QB in a single preseason game since Week 4 of the 2019 preseason, when Chicago let Tyler Bray play the entirety of a game and attempt 40 passes against Tennessee. Entering Saturday, Fields had only 87 yards passing this preseason. In comparison, he had 276 yards and two touchdowns across his entire preseason as a rookie.


Fields relied on his tight ends for the scoring, hitting both Cole Kmet and Ryan Griffin for scores. He also found receiver Dante Pettis for a touchdown.

Fields has two weeks to carry that momentum before leading Chicago into Soldier Field to host the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 11 in Week 1. Chicago last won in Week 1 game in 2020, and Fields is fighting to be the first Bears’ QB to lead Chicago to a Week 1 win at home since Jay Cutler in 2013.

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