For the first time in franchise history, the Chicago Bears don’t have a quarterback problem.
OK, maybe that’s a bit extreme. The Bears were in good hands with Jim McMahon under center, and Jay Cutler provided the kind of hope that only franchise quarterbacks can. And while McMahon did general a Super Bowl-winning team, the Cutler era was an unfulfilling eight seasons of .500 football.
Enter Justin Fields, who’s changed not only the short- and long-term outlook of the Bears but is also re-writing NFL records.
The success Fields is enjoying over the last month of the season has begun to shift the NFC North hierarchy, too. It isn’t reflected in the standings yet, which isn’t a surprise because of the work GM Ryan Poles has in front of him to rebuild the Bears’ roster. But Chicago has a leg up on the rest of the division at the game’s most important position.
Here’s a look at our NFC North Quarterback Power Rankings with seven weeks left in the 2022 regular season.
4. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
Goff has been serviceable for the Lions this season and even helped Detroit come from behind and defeat the Bears at Soldier Field in Week 10. But even the most optimistic Lions fan would admit that quarterback is the team’s top priority in the 2023 NFL Draft.
At this point in his career, Goff is a serviceable starter. He’s completing 64% of his passes this season and has 15 touchdowns to seven interceptions. He’s been a good bridge quarterback for a Detroit roster getting closer to competing once they land a young signal-caller.
3. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Cousins has an argument for ranking second on this list, especially with the season he’s having this year. He’s led the Vikings to a division-leading 8-1 record, but his 87.0 quarterback rating is the lowest he’s scored since 2014. There’s room for improvement, but there’s no denying Cousins is the leader of a Vikings team that has little standing in its way of an NFC North title this year.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers has owned the NFC North quarterback rankings for most of his career. But there’s a changing of the guard happening in real-time this year, even if Packers fans refuse to admit it.
Rodgers is struggling without WR Davante Adams. He’s on pace for 29 touchdown passes — he’s thrown 85 touchdowns over the last two seasons — and his quarterback rating (93.0) is the second-lowest of his career since becoming the Packers’ starter.
Sure, Rodgers is capable of getting hot and leading the 4-6 Packers on a playoff run over the next seven games. But there’s enough on film this year to know his best days in Green Bay are behind him. And so, too, is his time atop the NFC North quarterback rankings.
1. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Fields has taken the NFL by storm. He’s the most electric playmaker in the league right now after breaking the NFL record for rushing yards in a regular season game by a quarterback in Week 9 (178 yards). He followed up that performance by running for 147 yards against the Lions in Week 10.
Fields is developing as a passer, too. He’s thrown seven touchdowns to one interception over the last three games and is taking advantage of the downfield opportunities his rushing ability is creating.
Fields is the King of the NFC North, and it isn’t particularly close.