Justin Fields may only be making the fourth start of his career and the second as the Chicago Bears’ “official” starting quarterback, but his approach toward Week 6’s rivalry game against the Green Bay Packers has him sounding more like a seasoned pro than a rookie with such little experience.
Fields met with reporters Wednesday and in his trademark calm and steady demeanor said this week’s matchup against Aaron Rodgers is, essentially, like any other.
“To be honest, I don’t look at it as a matchup between me and Aaron, like I didn’t look at it as a matchup back then between me and Trevor (Lawrence),” he said. “I’m simply doing whatever I need to do to help my team win. If that’s hand the ball off 80 times during a game or throw for however many yards, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not worried about comparisons between touchdowns, stats.”
And that’s all Bears fans care about, too.
Chicago hasn’t fared well in recent Bears-Packers history. They’ve lost 13 of the last 15 games against Green Bay, so a win on Sunday is—truly—all that matters for a franchise that’s longed for a quarterback who can provide a fighter’s chance against Rodgers, who Fields said he tries, in part, to play like.
“I just like how he’s always in rhythm when he plays the game,” Fields said. “That’s a piece of his game that I try to emulate in mine.”
Fields hasn’t had to do much during his three starts to lead the Bears to two victories. He’s attempted a total of 37 passes over the last two games and has leaned on the running game to carry the load. In fact, Fields has yet to attempt more than 20 passes in a game as a pro. It’s unlikely he’ll have that luxury against the Packers on Sunday—Green Bay is averaging a touchdown more per game than the Bears so far this year.
While Fields may appear cool, calm, and collected for Sunday’s showdown against Rodgers, the mismatch between rookie and future Hall of Famer is massive. Rodgers has 422 career touchdown passes; Fields has one. Rodgers has more than 52,000 career passing yards. Fields has yet to reach 500. And while all of this reads like one of those Captain Obvious commercials, the difference between Rodgers and Fields isn’t just in a comparison of careers. Rodgers has been a far superior player in 2021, and it isn’t particularly close.
Again, that’s an expected outcome when comparing a legend and a rookie, and it’s also why Fields’ demeanor this week is so impressive. He isn’t in awe of Rodgers, despite the numbers suggesting he should be. He isn’t intimidated to face Green Bay, despite the analytics suggesting, again, that he should be.
Instead, Fields is approaching Week 6 like the leader the Bears have been starving for. Whether that equates to a win depends on more than just Fields, of course, but he’s certainly focused on one objective.
“I’m worried about winning,” Fields said. “That’s it.”
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