- Justin Fields could solve systemic problems with how the Bears have previously run their offense.
- He has +500 odds to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award for the 2021-2022 NFL season.
CHICAGO - Justin Fields performed admirably in the first preseason game on the schedule for the Chicago Bears.
Fields, selected by the Bears as the 10th pick in the draft, is widely regarded as a serious candidate to win Offensive Rookie of the Year by online sportsbooks.
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds
- Trevor Lawrence +300
- Justin Fields +500
- Trey Lance +500
- Kyle Pitts +1000
- Najee Harris +1000
- Zach Wilson +1000
His fit in the Bears' offense seems undeniable. At Ohio State, Ryan Day was his head coach, and Day’s playbook is very similar to Matt Nagy’s in Chicago.
When Fields was asked what the easiest adjustment from college to the NFL was, he specifically called out the concepts.
"The easiest thing I would say is the pass concepts," said Fields. "We had a lot of the same at Ohio State. So the pass concepts for sure.”
Nagy’s system involves zone-read concepts that require that the defense respect the threat of a running quarterback. It also requires that the quarterback be able to make accurate throws in the pocket, in space, and, ideally, on the run.
In brief, and to paraphrase Brett Kollman of The Film Room's insightful video on the subject, with Mitch Trubisky under center, accuracy was the problem. When Nick Foles took over, defensive lines didn’t have to respect him as a runner, which took away the threat of the zone read.
Fields was an accurate passer in college, with a 70.2% completion percentage in 2020, and was a threat on the ground as well, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.
By being more accurate than Trubisky and more mobile than Foles, Fields’ individual success could bring overall success to the Chicago Bears organization as a whole, potentially fixing the issues in their offense.
- CHI Bears To Have A Winning Record +190
The Bears are still not likely to end up with a positive record this year, with only +190 odds to end up with a record of 9-8 or better by the season's end. The Bears have the third most difficult schedule in the NFL based on the 2020 win percentage, with a combined winning percentage of 55%.
This puts a damper on their divisional hopes going into the new season.
NFC North Division Winner Odds
- Green Bay Packers -160
- Minnesota Vikings +250
- Chicago Bears +500
- Detroit Lions +2800
If Fields can be as good as he has the potential to be, his fit within Nagy’s system, and his ability to solve problems that the Bears have dealt with for years, could make them serious contenders - and online gamblers should take note of this when placing their bets on the NFL this year.