Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields realizes opposing defenses know the scouting report on him.
The third-year pro is a dual threat, and in 2022 became the first QB in league history to rush for at least 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns in a season.
If that means the visiting Green Bay Packers put extra attention on keeping him in the pocket during Sunday’s season opener, Fields feels he’s ready.
“Whichever way we got to beat ’em,” he said, “that’s the way we’re gonna do it.”
Aiming to bolster its aerial attack, Chicago traded the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft to the Carolina Panthers for wide receiver D.J. Moore and additional picks.
Chicago also brought in upgrades for a shaky offensive line, drafting former Tennessee standout Darnell Wright at 10th overall at right tackle while signing free-agent guard Nate Davis.
A Green Bay defense that includes veteran cornerback Jaire Alexander and pass rushers Rashan Gary and Preston Smith will be respectful of Fields’ ability.
“He’s just a threat to score on every play because he’s so dynamic,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said.
LaFleur earned his first career win as a head coach in Chicago and brings an unblemished, 8-0 record against the rival Bears to Soldier Field.
Green Bay will aim to extend that run of dominance behind a new QB. The Packers’ trade of former MVP Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets in April triggered the beginning of the Jordan Love era under center.
Drafted 26th overall by the Packers in 2020, Love has played in 10 games and completed 50 of 83 pass attempts when filling in for Rodgers through the years.
Chicago sees a similar skill set in Love as it does Fields, although Love’s career-best longest rush is a mere 10 yards.
“We think he’s got good escapability,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said. “He’s got the ability to move in and out of the pocket. He’s exhibited that when he’s been in there. And certainly on his college tape, he did, too. He’s a very good athlete.”
As with Rodgers last season, Love may get an early taste of the challenge to build rapport with wide receivers due to injuries. Hamstring ailments sidelined both starters Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson during practice Wednesday.
LaFleur touted the development of Samori Toure in the meantime.
“He’s just so much more comfortable in the offense,” LaFleur said. “I know he’s a guy who you can line up in any position, whether it’s the X or the slot or the Z. He has complete grasp of the offense, and it’s a luxury.”
Chicago is searching for its first win against Green Bay since defeating the visiting Packers 24-17 in Week 15 of the 2018 season.
Fields said the Bears aren’t focused on recent series history.
“We don’t really care what happened in the past,” he said. “That doesn’t affect what’s gonna happen on Sunday. We’re just looking to go out there, play our best and put our best foot forward.”
–Field Level Media