Justin Fields is on the cusp of a vital season for his career and the Chicago Bears.
He's executed two fairly decent seasons, the last on the back of his historic rushing performance. But it hasn't been enough. Yet.
Ahead of his third year, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer took a stab at predicting his season stats and sizing up his outlook. Many are hoping for a similar second-to-third-year jump Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts took last season. Breer agrees with the comparison, but not to the full extent.
"I’ll go with 63% completions, 3,200 yards, 24 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and 800 yards rushing—and I do that to put Fields in between campaigns Jalen Hurts posted in 2021 and ‘22," Breer wrote in a recent mailbag. "I believe Fields was a better passer coming out than Hurts was, but he doesn’t have the circumstances that Hurts got over the last couple of years."
The Bears have done their best (kind of) Howie Roseman impression this offseason by spending around $70 million of their cap space to improve the roster. (Don't worry, they still have the NFL's most cap space. While they made a prolific amount of enhancements on the defensive side, they didn't forget their potential franchise quarterback barely has pass-catching weapons and blocking support.
Ryan Poles' first move of the offseason was trading the No. 1 pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a haul of picks and wide receiver DJ Moore. Moore joins Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool, the latter of whom Poles added just before last season's trade deadline. Robert Tonyan and Tyler Scott also add wrinkles to the pass-catching group.
On the offensive line, the Bears drafted Darnell Wright -- a massive, violent right tackle -- with the No. 10 pick. They also signed Nate Davis, former right guard for the Tennessee Titans, to a three-year $30 million deal in free agency. The line looks a lot fresher, but to Breer's point, not yet quite elite like the Eagles'.
Either way, the focus now shifts to Fields, who is expected to take a leap, specifically in the passing game. Breer believes Fields will take that jump this season. With additional support and established arm talent, Fields is posed for success.
"Hurts, in so many ways, willed himself to become better in places where, again, guys generally don’t ascend as pros," Breer said. "And knowing what I know about Fields’s makeup, and what he’s done in Chicago the last couple offseasons, makes me think he can make the kind of jumps Hurts did."