Posted on: October 16, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Armando L. Sanchez Chicago Tribune

By Mohammed Jbara, Freelance Contributor

We just have to be extremely, extremely patient with Justin Fields. His supporting cast is probably dead last when it comes to talent, on paper. But that doesn’t mean we let Fields off the hook. He still has to perform on a level where we can say he’s the future of the Chicago Bears.

Now, we’re in a three-game stretch where Fields and the Bears will be playing some potential playoff teams: The Patriots, Cowboys and Dolphins. If Fields has even respectable games against these good/great defenses, then it’ll be a huge step forward in knowing the Bears have their guy.

While Bears fans are still enraged by how the last two games ended – with Ihmir Smith-Marsette having the ball stripped away and with sure-handed receiver Darnell Mooney bobbling a pass at the goal line – something flying under the radar is that Fields is actually taking steps forward.

New offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is getting in tune with Fields and letting him throw downfield now. And in the past three games Fields has taken a deep shot and he’s connecting. Even though sometimes he’s missing the open receiver and sticking too much with one guy, Fields is starting to make the throws he’s supposed to. 

Photo by Brian Cassella Chicago Tribune

The Bears have mustered up a 2-4 record, a record Bears fans thought this team would have at this point of the season. The highlight so far will for sure be the win in week one vs the 49ers in the infamous “Monsoon game.’’ 

But the game reset expectations, and the rest of the games haven’t gone how the Bears and their fan base pictured. Week two saw the Bears accept a familiar outcome in recent years, a big loss at Lambeau Field to the Green Bay Packers 27-10. And while spirits were lifted by a small margin with a win over the Houston Texans, Fields did not look good in that game. 

That ignited the conversation about whether the Bears should move on from the second-year quarterback.

Bears fans are starting to question the decisions and play-calling by Getsy. Fans knew this offense was not going to be great, but they didn’t think they would be this bad, either. Heading into the Minnesota Vikings game, the Bears were ranked last in total offense. Meanwhile, Justin Fields has held the ball longer than any quarterback in the NFL.

Week 5 against the Minnesota Vikings was no doubt the best game Fields has played this season. But that shows how low the bar was for him. Fields completed 15 passes out of 21 attempts for 208 yards and a touchdown while also throwing zero interceptions. Not bad but not great. 

These next few weeks could be the key to finally have an answer to the question the Bears have been asking themselves since the 1940s: Do we have our quarterback? 

Something that can give Bears fans confidence that Fields can still be “that guy” was in the second half when the Bears were down 21-10. To start the half, Fields completed 12 passes out of 13 attempts for 135 yards and that’s also when he threw the touchdown. Fields finished the day with a 76.6 quarterback rating (on a scale of 0-100, 50.0 being average). When every possession matters, Fields has shown that he can deliver results.

The Washington Commanders Game was an ugly watch. Fields was missing open reads and taking a ton of sacks. However, I still thought Fields took a step forward against the Commanders. Not a big one, but still in the right direction. He had that beautiful touchdown throw to wide receiver Dante Pettis where he recognized the Commanders defense was not ready and pounced.

At this point Bears fans are still forgetting the No. 1 and most important objective this season: The development of Justin Fields. His numbers have improved as of late but they’re still below average.

Not entirely his fault. The offensive talent of the Chicago Bears is slim to none. The wide receiver core is ranked last in almost every stat (wide receiver separation, catches, yards, etc.).

These next few weeks could be the key to finally have an answer to the question the Bears have been asking themselves since the 1940s:

Do we have our quarterback? 

In these next few games, the key for Fields to solidify that he is the future for the Bears is simple: He needs to prove that the problem isn’t him but the talent around him.

Remember, it’s still all about Fields. If he proves himself, no matter what the score, it’s a win.