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Justin Fields overthrowing the most wide open receiver in the history of football is the last thing Bears fans want to see right now

August 09, 2022

It’s going to be a tough season in Bears-land. Initially there seemed to be cause for optimism—Matt Nagy was gone, Justin Fields was entering year two, wide receiver reinforcements had arrived—but all of that evaporated in the span of 48 hours. On Saturday, new wideout N’Keal Harry went down with what was described as a “severe” ankle injury. On Tuesday, all-pro linebacker Roquan Smith formerly requested a trade. Then, as if that sh*t sandwich (plus ongoing stadium drama that threatens to uproot the team from Chicago altogether) weren’t enough, this clip surfaced on the interweb for every hater, doomer, gloomer, and Packers fan to see. Ladies and gentlemen, viewer discretion is advised.

That’s Bears QB-of-the-future Justin Fields overthrowing perhaps the most wide open receiver in football history … in the end zone … in a no-rush scrimmage this week. Fields was god awful in 2021. In 10 games, he threw for just over 1,800 yards, posting a sub-60-percent completion percentage while averaging just 6.9 yards per attempt. Much of that was chocked up to the Nagy regime, who clearly had no idea what to do with Fields—arguably the best player in college football five months before—when he fell into their lap. The prevailing wisdom was new head coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, who spent the last three years working with Aaron Rodgers as the Green Bay Packers quarterback coach, would give Fields a new lease on life. "Wisdom" now looks to be a bit of a stretch.

That said, anybody can have a ball slip or, in this case, catch the jet stream and fly halfway to Peoria. It is objectively unfair to judge Fields on the basis of one (very, VERY) bad throw. Everybody remain calm. But this is Da Bears we’re talking about. The time for remaining calm passed fifteen years ago. If Fields can’t make the leap, Smith gets traded, and the receiver corps remains banged up, the Bears will be in the running with Atlanta, Seattle, and perennially bottom-feeders like Detroit and Jacksonville for the top-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. There they’ll find another can’t-miss Ohio State quarterback, C.J. Stroud, waiting for them. What could possibly go wrong?