As the 2023 NFL offseason marches on, NFL analysts are beginning to realize just how improved the Chicago Bears offense is. Armed with a revamped offensive line and wide receiver corps, Justin Fields is on the launching pad for league superstardom, and some bold predictions are beginning to flow.
Sports Illustrated’s Connor Orr recently published his 100 bold predictions for the 2023 NFL season, and he has Fields accounting for 40 total touchdowns this year.
“I don’t think this is a brave prediction by any stretch, even if Fields scored only 25 total touchdowns last year (17 passing and eight rushing) in 15 games,” Orr wrote. “The Bears got better everywhere offensively, and, at the very minimum, it’s going to further stress a defense that still has to account for Fields leaving the pocket. Luke Getsy, who will get a head coaching job after this year, gets to keep a supported Fields with a year of the scheme under his belt.”
I like how Orr snuck that little additional prediction about Getsy in at the end. If the Bears OC lands a head coaching job after the 2023 season, it means Chicago was a playoff team that was supercharged by an offense that has an MVP candidate at quarterback.
Is it too soon to feel that confident in this Bears offense? Maybe. But it’s difficult not to get excited about Justin Fields’ upside in 2023.
The addition of wide receiver DJ Moore alone will add anywhere from eight to 10 touchdowns to Fields’ total next season. There’s a very good chance he’ll reach the mid-20s in touchdown passes because of Moore’s playmaking ability.
Chase Claypool’s second year in the system should result in more trips to the paint, too. It has to. Claypool didn’t score a single receiving touchdown with the Bears in 2022; I think five scores is his floor, and quite honestly, if he only scores five, it would be a disappointment.
Remember: Fields threw 17 touchdown passes in 2022 despite playing with a cast of wide receivers who struggled to separate or create after the catch.
As for the rushing scores, as long as he’s healthy, Justin Fields will always be a threat for double-digit touchdowns on the ground. He scored 11 last season for an offense that relied on him to set record-breaking long runs. That shouldn’t be the case in 2023. And while he may not have as many highlight-reel big rushing plays, Fields should have more opportunities to score on short-yardage runs much like Jalen Hurts has enjoyed with the Philadelphia Eagles.
40 total touchdowns for Justin Fields in 2023? Maybe it isn’t all that bold after all.