CHICAGO – Justin Fields came into the Week 15 matchup against the Eagles at Soldier Field just 95 yards shy of 1,000 yards rushing on the season.
On second-and-5 with just under eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, Fields rushed for exactly one yard, giving him exactly 95 rushing yards in the game. Fields joined Michael Vick and Lamar Jackson to achieve the 1,000-yard rushing milestone for a quarterback in NFL history.
“It means a lot … I wouldn’t be here without God,” Fields said. “I wouldn’t be here without my teammates and coaches. Them pushing me every day … at practice and us just pushing each other. Of course them blocking for me on the field and blocking down field. I couldn’t be here without them. Of course it’s a great honor, but it’s really because of those guys.”
As expected, Fields was extremely humble about his accomplishment, and he also said he doesn’t plan on rushing for 1,000 yards every year. Matt Eberflus, on the other hand, recognized how remarkable that achievement is.
“That’s great. That’s great. I think that is a franchise record for quarterback, obviously goes over a thousand yards,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said. “One of three quarterbacks in the history of the league with Lamar (Jackson) and (Michael)Vick. That’s pretty special. He’s a special guy.”
In the 25-20 loss to the Eagles, Fields also broke the single-season rushing record for the Bears. Bobby Douglass previously had the record with his 976 rushing yards.
Fields’ longest run of the game came on a 39-yard scramble on second-and-27. Eagles linebacker Hassan Reddick tried to tackle Field up high inside the pocket, but the 6-foot-3, 228-pound quarterback broke the arm tackle and found open grass to his left where he eventually stepped out of bounds.
“The run he made down there, it’s just phenomenal,” Eberflus said. “He’s doing an excellent job. He’s doing a really good job of leading our football team. I think it’s where he’s growing the most over the second half of the season. He’s just getting more and more confident as he goes.”
According to Next Gen Stats, Fields had less than a 1 percent chance of converting the first down on that play.
“He is a very special person. I don’t know if I have quite been with a guy like him before,” Riley Reiff said after the game. “Works his butt off. Spends his time in the building, and he wants to win more than any guy. Just sucks that we couldn’t done for him today.”
One play after Fields’ 1-yard record-setting run, though, he had to leave the game after he scrambled for 18 yards on third-and-4. The play didn’t count due to a holding call by Riley Reiff.
The Bears’ medical staff tried stretching Fields out on the sideline, but he eventually had to go to the locker room due to the cramps. Fields did return on the next drive after Jalen Hurts scored his third rushing down of the game. To go along with the 95 rushing yards, the second-year quarterback finished the game 14 of 21 for 152 passing yards and two touchdown passes.
After the game, four-time Pro Bowler Darius Slay was asked what makes it so difficult to control a player like Fields when he begins to run?
“Cause he is a 4.4 guy, that’s what makes it tough,” Slay said. “He’s not like a 4.7 that people can run down. When he gets in open field, he can make you miss and he can run past you. So, he’s a big threat. Chicago has great upside coming from him. They’re going to have a great future with him. Man, he special. He is a highlight film for real, man.”
The NFL record for the most rushing yards by a quarterback is held by Jackson, who ran for 1,206 yards in 2019. With three games remaining in the 2022 regular season, Fields is open to giving it a shot.
“I mean I’m already deep into this year, so might as well try to go get that record. 206,” Fields said. “Three games left? 70 yards a game, so we’ll see what happens.”