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Fields ranked NFL's most explosive ballcarrier

Bears quarterback Justin Fields
Bears quarterback Justin Fields

Last season Bears quarterback Justin Fields was the most explosive runner in the NFL.

At least that was the conclusion reached by writer Nick Shook, who created explosive scores on a scale of 0-100 based on a player's Next Gen Stats such as speed, average speed and number of big plays.

Fields ranked first in 2022 with an explosive score of 98, followed by Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III (90), Jaguars running back Travis Etienne (90) and Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (88). Shook notes that Fields had 33 runs of at least 10 yards and 89 runs of at least 15 miles per hour, the most in the NFL.

Fields blossomed into an electrifying playmaker in 2022, rushing for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns on 160 carries and throwing for 2,242 yards and 17 TDs. His 1,143 rushing yards were the second most by a quarterback in NFL history behind only Jackson's 1,206 yards in 2019.

Fields also set a single-game record for rushing yards by an NFL quarterback with 178 against the Dolphins. In addition, he became the first quarterback with three TD runs of at least 50 yards, the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era with a rushing TD in six straight games and the first quarterback to rush for at least 70 yards in five consecutive contests since at least 1950.

"Fields' 2022 season was visually thrilling," Shook wrote. "Statistically, it was incredible … 

"The 2021 season's most explosive rusher was another quarterback – Philadelphia's Jalen Hurts -- and Fields' Next Gen totals were even better than Hurts' in 2021. Only Kyler Murray has been more explosive on the ground in the last three seasons, with the Cardinals' quarterback setting the standard (32 runs of 10-plus yards, 94 of 15-plus mph) back in 2020 -- and he finished that season with 324 fewer rushing yards than Fields posted in 2022. 

"In fact, Fields' Next Gen numbers closely mirror Jackson's from 2020.

"Fields' ability to create positive gains with his legs only makes him more dangerous, and unless Chicago confines him to the pocket indefinitely, it's safe to expect he'll end up on this list again a year from now."

Get a look at Bears players participating in the team's annual photo shoot at Halas Hall.