For the first time this season, you can argue that Bears quarterback Justin Fields performed better than any other first-round rookie quarterback. He took a considerable step forward in his development, especially while rushing the ball, while his classmates appeared to have taken a step back. Scroll on to see if Fields played well enough to climb in our weekly rankings.
No. 5: Zach Wilson (Last week: 5)
Wilson was playing better last week before he sprained his PCL. It’s an unfortunate setback that’s expected to sideline him for another one to three weeks.
No. 4: Trey Lance (Last week: 4)
Lance was technically active for Sunday’s game against the Bears, but he never saw the field as he continues to recover from a knee sprain. We’ll see if Kyle Shanahan deploys him in any interesting sets to try to keep up with the Cardinals high powered offense next week.
No. 3: Justin Fields (Last week: 3)
COMP-ATT, COMP%: 19-27, 70.4 YDS: 175 TD: 1 INT: 1 RUSH-YDS-TD: 10-103-1
This was easily the most comfortable that Fields has looked in any of his NFL starts. He worked through his progressions well, delivered balls accurately and on-time, and acted decisively when taking off to run. The highlight that will be played in perpetuity around Chicago is his 22-yard touchdown scramble, but he made several other incredible plays too. Quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo described his touchdown pass to Jesse James as a “mailbox throw,” as in Fields only had a window about the size of a mailbox where he could safely put the ball and give James a chance to score. His throw to open the second half was another thing of beauty, as he delivered another strike to James, in stride, while rolling to his left and throwing across his body. The one interception looks like a blemish, but it was a desperation attempt as the Bears found themselves down two scores with 1:34 left in the game. If he continues to play like this, Fields could pass the next guy on our list before too long.
No. 2: Trevor Lawrence (Last week: 2)
COMP-ATT, COMP%: 32-54, 59.3% YDS: 238 TD: 1 INT: 1 RUSH-YDS: 3-11
Trevor Lawrence may be starting to experience some of the negative side effects of having the pass rush in his face all the time. Once again, Lawrence was running for his life for practically the entire game, but for the first time Lawrence started to scramble after a few seconds even when he had good protection from his offensive line. Despite that, Lawrence managed to make several good throws. He just doesn’t have enough help from anyone else on this offense to produce. Like Fields, Lawrence may not be fully at fault for his interception either. He threw the ball well away from his intended target, and after the play was seen talking to the receiver on the sideline, and motioning how he expected to break off the route.
No. 1: Mac Jones (Last week: 1)
COMP-ATT, COMP%: 18-35, 51.4% YDS: 218 TD: 0 INT: 0 RUSH-YDS: 4-10
For one quarter it looked like Jones would be on his way to the best game of his young career. He was sharp, decisive and explosive. On one particular snap, Jones did well to feel pass rush pressure coming, stepped up in the pocket and delivered a perfect 44-yard bomb to Nelson Agholor, in stride. But things fell apart for Jones in the second and third quarters, and he lost all rhythm with his receivers. There were two particularly bad throws that should’ve been touchdowns. One was an easy four-yard slant to Kendrick Bourne that looked like a gimme score. Jones wasn’t close with the throw, however, and the Patriots turned the ball over on downs a few plays later. Later in the game, Agholor got behind the defense and an accurate throw would’ve led to a touchdown. But Jones overthrew him and the pass fell harmlessly incomplete. Jones did pull it together enough to help the Pats win in the fourth quarter, but by now we’ve come to expect better play from the rookie.