Justin Fields

Justin Fields is still the future of the Chicago Bears

Justin Fields is a young franchise quarterback, period. That’s the article. But I suppose some support for that statement is required.

After a frustrating loss to the Washington Commanders at home in Week 6, I’ve seen many Bears fans begin eulogizing the Justin Fields era as yet another ‘what could have been’ moment in Chicago sports. If this describes you, if you are one of the people who believe Justin Fields is to blame for that loss, I have just one question: what game are you watching?

Fields has had a few bad games so far this season, and I heavily criticized his play when that happened, particularly after the Week 3 win over Houston. When Fields plays poorly, I will say so. Against the Commanders, Fields was the only reason the Bears were even in a competitive game. He was under duress on almost every passing play. After a promising start to the season, Rookie left tackle Braxton Jones was a revolving door. Interior linemen Lucas Patrick and Sam Mustipher were even worse. Fields was rarely given time to throw, and his receivers weren’t getting open when he did have time.

And when they were getting open, they were dropping catchable passes.

The Bears fell behind late in the game because the Commanders were gifted a possession at the Bears’ six-yard line thanks to a muffed punt by Velus Jones Jr. The Bears failed to score on their next drive but did get the ball back with about 90 seconds to play.

That’s when Justin Fields worked his magic. When a passing play broke down at midfield, Fields scrambled for a huge gain to take the Bears to within ten yards of the endzone and a game-winning touchdown. On first-and-goal, protection broke down, and he was forced to run out of bounds. On second down, they ran the ball to the five-yard line. On third down, Fields hit wide receiver Dante Pettis in both hands in the endzone, but Pettis dropped the catch (to be fair, he was being twisted and interfered with by a Commanders defender). Fields found Darnell Mooney at the goalline with one last shot at the endzone and delivered a beautiful ball right between the numbers.

Mooney bobbled the pass. By the time he had control, he was a half-yard short of the goal line.

Fields put the team on his back in Week 6, and the team failed him. As a leader, he will take his share of the blame, but the simple fact is that, with the game on the line, Fields threw not one, but two touchdown passes. All the receivers had to do was catch the ball. They did not.

So if you’re blaming Fields for that loss or thinking it’s time to look at the 2023 quarterback class, I urge you to slow down and watch the game again. Fields is a franchise quarterback, a guy that General Manager Ryan Poles can build a championship-caliber team around. He’s got all the tools, all the talent, and the mental toughness.

Now he just needs the supporting cast.

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