While the Chicago Bears are one of the NFL’s most recognizable franchises, they have not featured one of the league’s elite quarterbacks in several decades.
Despite the play they have received under center, the Bears have managed to remain competitive sporadically during the new millennium.
They made the Super Bowl in the 2006 season, and have cobbled together semi-respectable seasons recently, making the playoffs in 2018 and 2020.
However, with a fan base growing antsy and a solid roster in spite of the quarterback position, the Bears realized they needed to swing for the fences in the 2021 NFL Draft.
They traded up to the No. 11 pick to snag Ohio State signal-caller Justin Fields, who they hope will be the answer at the position for years to come.
What are a few realistic expectations for Fields in his first season in the Windy City?
🏗 𝚞𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚛 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚜𝚝𝚛𝚞𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 pic.twitter.com/3fDrWcBUI0
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 21, 2021
3. Play In At Least 15 Games
The Bears have tried to act coy regarding the pecking order of their quarterback room.
That might be true, and Dalton may get a majority of snaps in the early part of the summer.
2. Finish Top 3 In Offensive Rookie Of The Year Voting
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 2, 2021
It’s possible that other rookies like Trevor Lawrence, Ja’Marr Chase, and Najee Harris might have more of an opportunity to put up gaudy statistics.
Chase and Lawrence figure to be on teams who aren’t quite ready to win, and will get tons of chances to accrue numbers in catch-up mode.
Harris is on a contending team in Pittsburgh, who figures to feed him the rock over and over to take pressure off of Ben Roethlisberger.
With that being said, Fields has the chance to get into the mix for the award with his impact on winning games.
The Bears figure to be hovering around the Wild Card picture in the NFC, and the talent of the roster around Fields figures to keep the team in games.
If he can deliver a couple of signature moments down the stretch of important games, that might help him remain relevant for this prestigious honor.
1. Make The Playoffs
Expecting a rookie quarterback to lead his team to the postseason used to be unrealistic pressure to put on a neophyte.
Chicago would still be well served to feed running back David Montgomery 15-20 carries to manage Fields’ workload in his inaugural season, but the former Buckeye will need to show fans he was worth the investment.
For as ugly as the narrative was with Trubisky at the helm, the team still made the playoffs two out of the last three years.
Even with no NFL experience, that result is the baseline of what fans should expect with Fields leading the team in 2021.