Bears' Justin Fields 2nd in NFL on NextGen speed list
Fields ranks 2nd on NextGen Stats list of NFL speedsters originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Watch a few Bears highlights from the past two seasons and it becomes pretty clear pretty quickly that Justin Fields is a very fast man. It felt like at least once a game Fields would be trapped by the defense, only to break free, find another gear as a rusher and pick up a huge gain.
Then there were the designed runs where Fields would make defenders look like they were running in slow motion.
67-YARD TD! #DaBears
ðº: #DETvsCHI on FOX
ð±: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/bBQuxnO25T pic.twitter.com/yMZ8iWXAUZ
— NFL (@NFL) November 13, 2022
Now we know Fields really was kicking things up a notch over his rivals. According to NFL’s NextGen stats, Fields topped 20 mph on the radar gun nine times last season. Only Tyreek Hill’s 10 plays hitting 20+ mph ranked higher than Fields in 2022.
The Bears and Dolphins were the only teams in 2022 with 20+ plays from scrimmage where an offensive ball carrier reached 20+ MPH.
They were led by Tyreek Hill (10) and Justin Fields (9), who were the only players with more than 6 touches reaching 20+ MPH.#FinsUp | #DaBears pic.twitter.com/EhOqgWVi4k
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) May 24, 2023
Fields’ spectacular rushing ability is part of what makes him a top-tier playmaker, so the Bears should never take away that part of his game. However, the team would likely want to see an uptick in his passing production even if it meant a downtick in the rushing numbers to help the overall growth of the offense.
The Bears player with the second-most amount of 20+ mph carries was Velus Jones, with five. Other players who cracked the 20+ mph threshold over the course of the season were Khalil Herbert, Eddie Jackson, Dante Pettis and Equanimeous St. Brown.
Click here to follow the Under Center Podcast.