Justin Fields in Prime Position to Break Chicago Bears’ ‘Rookie of the Year Curse’
By Space Coast Daily // September 22, 2021
The jigsaw pieces are slowly falling into place for Justin Fields to break through at the Chicago Bears, even if coach Matt Nagy has been reluctant to start the player two weeks deep in the NFL season.
The former Georgia and Ohio stand-out has remained fairly consistent as one of the favorites to win this year’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award, and his odds are steadily improving despite his cameo role.
Fields, 22, arrived in Illinois with the impression he’d be the long-awaited quarterback solution at Soldier Field, with an instant chance to impress in a position that looked fairly vacant.
The Bears haven’t produced a Rookie of the Year in either offensive or defensive categories for at least two decades, but in Fields they stand a real shot at the end-of-season accolade.
And it’s this season’s impressive crop of quarterbacks who lead the way as far as the bookmakers are concerned, with Mac Jones and Trevor Lawrence the only players at lower odds as things stand.
Mac Jones (+190)
It’s not every day that a first-year pro is awarded the keys to the kingdom at Gillette Stadium, but Mac Jones is the lucky recipient after being entrusted to ignite a new dynasty in Foxborough.
The revival project is more appealing than most, however, considering the top rookie quarterbacks are normally tasked with remodelling wrecks, not performing shine-ups on already talented rosters.
Life with the New England Patriots is getting better by the week for Jones, too, after he recently led the team to a 25-6 hammering of the New York Jets after a close opening loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Two games in the and the former Alabama ace is head and shoulders above the competition in passer rating:
Passer rating through Week 2:
Mac Jones: 96.7
Trevor Lawrence: 57.1
Zach Wilson: 56.1 pic.twitter.com/hvMWOAhgKT
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) September 19, 2021
Jones’ +190 price is almost a third of the closest competition, but the race is far from over, with tougher tests to come for the Pats’ new leading man.
Trevor Lawrence (+500)
There were no doubts as to who was moving first off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft, but No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence was always expected to find wins tough to come by this season.
His maiden campaign with the Jacksonville Jaguars has got underway with back-to-back losses against the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos, although the 21-year-old has sparkled at times:
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) September 19, 2021
Yet to taste NFL victory as of yet this season, Lawrence may struggle to stand out enough as an individual if the Jags’ team performances don’t pick up in the near future.
Justin Fields (+600)
Illinois has a genuine chance at landing its first Offensive Rookie of the Year since running back Anthony Thomas lifted the trophy in 2001 thanks to Fields.
Much to the confusion of many fans, Nagy has stuck with Andy Dalton in the top QB role, though that’s set to change against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday following a knee injury for the veteran:
Breaking: Bears coach Matt Nagy announced that Justin Fields will start at QB against the Browns on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/smVzIh5TJJ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 22, 2021
Fields rushed for one touchdown in a bit-part display against the Los Angeles Rams, following that up with his first NFL win as a third-quarter replacement against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2.
Now might be a good time for Illinois bettors to jump aboard Fields’ +600 price while it remains, as Dalton’s injury may be all the opportunity he requires to give a Bears team with plenty of potential back their bark.
2021 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year—Odds Leaders