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Justin Fields Slow to the Draw

NextGen Stats see Justin Fields as slowest QB in the league to get rid of the football after two games.

Although he has started only 12 games, what seems like an age-old problem for Bears quarterback Justin Fields is underscored this week in a matchup against fellow second-year quarterback Davis Mills of the Houston Texans.

NextGen Stats last year put Fields down on the season as the seventh slowest to get the ball out in the passing game. Now Fields is the worst in the league at getting the ball out of his hand fast.

Last year he averaged 2.91 seconds to get it away and was better than Jalen Hurts (3.12), Jameis Winston (3.02), Zach Wilson (3.0), Taylor Heinicke (2.97), Lamar Jackson (2.96) and Teddy Bridgewater (2.911).

This year for two games in another new offense, Fields is getting it out in 3.26 seconds. The only other quarterbacks over three seconds are Daniel Jones of the Giants (3.1) and Carson Wentz of Washington (3.02).

This increase in time comes despite the fact coaches changed his technique in passing so that his left foot is forward when he catches the snap, leaving him in better position to get off a quick throw near the line of scrimmage.

It's not as simple as Fields can't get the ball out fast enough. Fields also has the third-longest air yards intended on his throws in the NFL according to NextGen, at 10.1 yards. It only makes sense he's holding the ball longer if his intended receivers are downfield more.

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The contrast between Fields and passers who get the ball out fast could be startling this week against the Texans because Mills is third fastest among NFL starters at getting the ball away. He averages 2.56 seconds.

Among starters, only Tom Brady (2.52) and Josh Allen (2.54) get rid of it faster than Mills, according to NextGen Stats.

This doesn't leave much time for the pass rush to get home, and this has been one of the few real strengths the Bears have shown on defense.

The slower time by Fields to get rid of the ball does come with one positive.

If he has taken longer to get rid of it, he does have more time to throw. 

Their offensive line had been ranked next to last in the league by Pro Football Focus prior to the start of training camp, and last by ESPN. 

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