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Bears quarterback Justin Fields has emerged as one of the most exciting young players in the league, and has made strong progress in his second NFL season.
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Despite the weak roster, Fields has managed to make explosive plays on a weekly basis. His athleticism has been the biggest factor in his success, where he has made defenses pay with his distinctive pace. Fields has 905 rushing yards on the season, and he has a chance to break Lamar Jackson’s single-season rushing record for quarterbacks.
But Fields is still a young quarterback with plenty of room for improvement. The arrow is definitely pointed for the former 11th overall pick.
Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz examines the biggest weakness for every starting quarterback in the NFL. So what is Fields’ biggest weakness according to the data?
Fields’ biggest weakness is simple: He takes too many sacks. It might surprise you to learn that ESPN Analytics currently has the Bears second in block win rate. Yet the Bears have the worst adjusted sack rate in the league. In fact, Chicago has an ASR of 12.6%, and no other crime is above 10%.
Pass protection has been an issue for the Bears in Fields’ rookie season. Chicago has allowed 42 sacks this season, fifth-worst in the league. While the offensive line needs to get better at pass protection, Fields also needs to learn to stop taking sacks and get rid of the ball.
Granted, Fields has done a better job using his legs to avoid pressure, running plays or taking bails out of the pocket. But Fields still held onto the ball for far too long, which has led to a few QB-responsible sacks.