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How close will Justin Fields get to Erik Kramer’s Bears’ passing records?

The Bears have a low bar when it comes to their top two passing records, so can Justin Fields surpass it?

Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Chicago Bears have the lowest single-season passing yards record (3,838) and the lowest single-season passing touchdown record (29) in the NFL, both set 28 years ago by Erik Kramer. That 1995 season featured two thousand-yard receivers (Jeff Graham and Curtis Conway), and a thousand-yard rusher (Rashaam Salaam), and the Bears had the balance of having a top-ten rushing and passing offense.

The 2023 Bears have added a legit number-one wide out (DJ Moore), they bolstered the offensive line, and their running game shouldn't miss a beat. Chicago should have one of their most dynamic offenses in recent memory, and at the center of it is third-year quarterback Justin Fields. The electrifying QB1 is primed for a big year, but how big of an improvement should we expect from him as a passer?

That was the gist of our latest roundtable question.

Will Justin Fields break the Bears' all-time passing record of 3,838 passing yards and/or 29 TDs?

Our team was split on this one, and here's what we had to say.

Jeff Berckes - Yes to both. I will always predict this because it's too sad not to do so. I understand the arguments against that with the running game and the volume Fields provides with his legs that the passing stats don't have to be there, but I believe this offense takes a major step forward this year, and the volume will indeed be there.

Ken Mitchell - Yes, he will, assuming he stays healthy, and both Mooney and Claypool are healthy as well.

Erik Duerrwaechter - Yes. The TDs for sure, and the passing yardage might finally exceed 4,000 for the first time in franchise history. The Bears have a good set of complementary weaponry for a young, aggressive QB to consistently attack secondaries. The red zone options, in particular, are fantastic between Robert Tonyan, Cole Kmet (he was outstanding when given the chance in 2022), DJ Moore, Chase Claypool, and (possibly) Roschon Johnson. Pass protection should also be better next season, provided that good health is maintained with the starting five hogs. As a result, we're not going to see nearly as many plays featuring Justin Fields creating 60+ yard runs out of pure magic. And that will be a good thing.

Carolina Panthers v Chicago Bears

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. - With more viable red zone options and with defenses forced to account for his scrambling ability when the Bears have goal-to-go, Fields will get the passing TD record this season. Luke Getsy will scheme up some cheapies for him. Expect to see some play actions with a back or tight end leaking out into the flat, some run-pass options that puts a defender in conflict, and some jet sweep shovel passes. I think he falls just short of the passing yardage record though.

Mason West - This year? Not for passing yards. I see this year still being a fairly run-heavy offense. I expect him to be at around 3200-3500 passing yards with around 700-800 rushing yards. Passing TDs? I'll say yes but barely.

Bill Zimmerman - No on both fronts. If you want combined touchdowns, he will be in the 30s, but I think Fields finishes with around 3500 yards and 24 passing touchdowns.

Taylor Doll - This season? I would say no. I think the climb will be similar to Jalen Hurts, and I think with the running ability and still solidifying pass protection, we’ll see a decent amount on the ground still, but I do think that in the next few years, if he stays healthy, we could see him be the one to do it.

Sam Householder - No. I am convinced in my soul that those records cannot and will not ever be broken for whatever reason. That way I will celebrate like it’s a championship if it ever actually happens.

Now it's your turn; Will Justin Fields break the Bears' all-time passing record of 3,838 passing yards and/or 29 TDs?