Justin Fields He started 16 matches between 2021 and 2022. The results so far have not been good. He completed 57.84% of his passes for 2,669 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. This works out to a 74.5 pass rating. Chicago Bears Fans are left wondering if their team is breathing again in the center-back position. Is there any chance Fields will pull himself off this dangerous path to success in the NFL?
I thought of the best way to answer this question. There is no perfect football stats to determine if QB will sink or swim. However, the percentage that consistently stood out during my research was the percentage of completion. In the modern era, most people would agree that any quarterback player with an achievement rate of 60% or higher is considered decent. Those in the 1950s have major problems with successful throw chains together due to accuracy, decision making, or all of the above.
Oddly enough, I decided to review every first-round player since 2000.
This covers a broad enough range to provide reliable data. Also, it is universally expected to become the first-round starter in the NFL. This is not always the case with the second or third round. With the parameters set, I got into a simple task: determining which QBs went for the first two seasons with a completion percentage of less than 60. Of the 61 who played for at least two years, 20 qualified for this list. Suffice it to say it is not an encouraging group.
- Michael Vick *
- Patrick Ramsay
- Joey Harrington
- David Carr
- Rex Grossman
- Kyle Poehler
- Eli Manning *
- Alex Smith *
- Matt Lennart
- Brady Queen
- Jamarcus Russell
- Marc Sanchez
- Tim Tebow
- Plain Gebert
- Brandon Weeden
- EJ Manuel
- Johnny Manzel
- Blake Burtles
- Josh Rosen
- Josh Allen*
Of those listed, only four have had major success in their careers. The rest were below-average beginners, functional backups, or complete corruptions.
Justin Fields lacked a major advantage that the Four Exceptions had.
Many factors went into overcoming early doubts about their future success. Let’s go over each one and determine how it happens.
Michael Vick – He surpassed 53.9% completion rate in his first two years thanks to him being the most dynamic QB run the NFL has ever seen. He ran for 1,934 yards between 2002 and 2004. Defenses had no answer in those days.
Eli Manning He didn’t break 60% until his fifth season. He overcame that by generating 12.4 yards per achievement in those first two years, throwing 24 TDs in his second season, and playing under the same system that he drafted. The playoffs in his second year also helped a lot.
Alex Smith Empathy played a big role in this. Smith had five different offensive coordinators in five years. That and San Francisco’s inability to find a suitable replacement allowed him to survive into his fifth year when he finally started playing better. Like Manning, the franchise helped keep coaches in charge which helped him recruit.
Josh Allen The achievement percentage didn’t matter to Allen when he had a rocket launcher for his right arm. His passer rating was much better in his second year, and the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs with a score of 10-6.
This puts everything in perspective.
Justin Fields has many problems working against him. His team is 2-4. Their chances of qualifying are remote. He’s currently on track to throw an 11-12 touchdown. Even worse, the system he had crafted was sacked after last season. So that safety net is gone, too. The only hope he has is to follow the mold in you. Fields is an elite athlete. His speed makes him a constant danger to the ground. Now, he’s on his 800-yard sprint. If he can keep it going and maybe add some touchdowns, that might be enough to buy time until the passing issues are resolved.
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