Justin Fields’ promising sophomore season has a historic chapter in its own right following the Bears quarterback’s most recent performance on Sunday.
With 178 rushing yards in a loss to the Miami Dolphins, Fields set the NFL record for rushing yards by a QB in a single regular-season game. The record was previously held by none other than Michael Vick, who had 173 yards against the Vikings in Week 13 of 2002. The all-time QB rushing record is held by Colin Kaepernick, who rushed for 181 yards in a playoff game in 2013.
Field’s impressive day of running the ball included an exciting 61-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that kept the Bears afloat against the Dolphins’ top-flight offense. Averaging 11.9 yards per attempt on Sunday, Fields’ playmaking skills on the ground so far have highlighted his remarkable growth in 2022, but the 23-year-old also showed marked development as a passer amid his historic outing.
Fields completed 17 of 28 passes for a 106.7 rating and also threw a career-high three TD passes against the Dolphins and accounted for 301 of the Bears’ 367 total offensive yards in the game. Fields is the first player since at least 1950 with more than 150 rushing yards and more than three passing TDs in a single game, according to NFL Research.
“I think I’m just growing and getting better every week,” Fields said of the historic outing. “My main goal right now is to keep doing that. Keeping the trend up and getting better and better at training every day. That’s really all you can do.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time a bear has held a rushing record in a single game. The legendary Walter Payton rushed for an NFL single-game record 275 yards on November 20, 1977 against the Minnesota Vikings. Payton’s record stood for more than two decades before the Cincinnati Bengals’ Corey Dillon broke it in 2000. Adrian Peterson currently holds the league single-game standard for any position with his 296 yards as a member of the Vikings in 2007 against the Chargers.
Fields’ latest performance on Sunday was as promising as it gets for a Bears franchise that has missed the league’s QB revolution in recent decades. Even with a loss on Sunday, Bears head coach Matt Eberflus recognized the importance of Fields’ continued development to Chicago.
Eberflus said after the defeat: “Obviously a huge step for Justin Fields and the franchise today.”