Chicago Bears fans are more than satisfied with quarterback Justin Fields’ first game of 2022. The box score doesn’t look great, and at times, the Bears’ offense was sloppy. But Chicago won the game because of Fields’ intangibles and athleticism, neither of which made much of a difference in his Pro Football Focus grade.
Fields was PFF’s lowest-graded Bears on offense in Week 1 with a putrid mark of 44.2, and it could’ve been worse. He received a horrific 34.2 passing grade that was boosted by his rushing score (65.9).
Fields’ performance was impacted by a variety of factors, including Chicago’s young offensive line adjusting to the 49ers’ talented defensive line early in the game . The monsoon-like weather conditions certainly didn’t help.
But it wasn’t all bad for the second-year passer. He scored a 70.2 grade on plays that used play action; unfortunately, he attempted only six passes from that concept.
Fields was aggressive in Week 1, which is a welcome sight after 2021’s conservative offensive style. He attempted six passes that traveled 20 yards or longer, with four of those long shots to the right side of the field.
The problems for Fields came when he was under pressure. On 10 drop backs that PFF graded and deemed under pressure, Fields scored an atrocious 29.3. That’s not great, especially considering there’s a good chance he’ll be under pressure quite a bit in 2022 with the state of the Bears’ offensive line.
Still, what these numbers don’t reveal are the plays Fields was able to keep alive and convert because of his special traits. Sometimes, the result of a play is actually more impressive than the data explains. Fields proved that on Sunday — the analytics say he was bad, but the Bears won because of him.
Other players on the Bears’ offense who struggled to score well on PFF’s scale were David Montgomery (45.5) and Darnell Mooney (53.5). It’s a shocking Week 1 result considering the three lowest-graded players on Chicago’s offense are also the three most important.