NY Jets: Evaluating Justin Fields’ performance versus Clemson

NY Jets, Justin Fields
NY Jets, Justin Fields /

Possible NY Jets’ draft target Justin Fields shined against Clemson this past weekend.

Wow! Just wow! That’s really the only thing you can say about Justin Fields‘ performance in the College Football Playoff Semifinal against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl Friday night.

This is great news for NY Jets fans as we may have just seen the Jets’ future starting quarterback put on a show in the biggest game he’s played.

The stats that Fields put up would be impressive on their own.

Throw in the fact that he was clearly in pain from the middle of the second quarter after taking a crushing hit from Clemson linebacker James Skalski, you now have one of the most legendary performances in college football history.

Just looking at the stats are breathtaking, something that should get Jets fans excited at the prospect of Fields leading Gang Green into the future. Going 22-of-28 for 385 yards and six touchdowns through the air, while running for 42 yards on eight attempts.

His one turnover came on a play in which the defensive lineman obviously affected the throw. While his six touchdowns broke the Ohio State bowl game record and the Sugar Bowl single-game record.

Now it wasn’t a perfect performance, but those are about as rare as the Jets making the playoffs at this point. But overall, when you look at this performance, Fields made good decisions, went through his progressions well, threw accurately, and came up clutch in a gutsy performance.

The NY Jets must have been very impressed by Justin Fields’ performance

Starting with his decision making, this was something that was a big question mark coming into the game. In the past, Fields had made poor decisions when under pressure, however, we did not see that from him in this game.

Aside from the interception, Fields made very good decisions. Even on the pick, it seemed as though he may have been trying to throw it away.

Either way, against a very good Clemson defense that is known for bringing pressure, Fields handled everything and made good choices all game long.

This was even more impressive as the game went on because of the injury. Not only was he in pain, but because Fields and the coaching staff wanted to avoid further damage, the quarterback run game was pretty much eliminated and his ability to move was very much limited.

Fields stood strong in the pocket all game long and established an impressive pocket presence. This is something that was very important for Fields to show as this was yet another problem found with his game, but he proved the doubters wrong on that front.

His ability to go through his progressions effectively has been another question mark on Fields’ resume, however, he was very effective in this regard as well. On multiple occasions, Fields was patient in the pocket, made the correct reads, and delivered the ball downfield.

There was really only one occasion where Fields got locked in on a receiver and made the wrong decision, but even still, he put the ball in a spot where it most likely was not going to get picked off.

That accuracy was also key the entire game. Not only was he accurate in the short passing game, but his ability to deliver precise throws downfield opened up everything for this offense. His receivers were able to get open and Fields delivered all game long.

Finally, this was one of the gutsiest performances that we have seen in a long time. Coming in with a chip on his shoulder, as an underdog against the guy that most people are saying Fields doesn’t even come close to comparing to, he shined and played one of the best games of his career.

Fields showed his toughness, grit, and determination in this one as he played through an injury all game long and continually came up huge. He showed his leadership and proved that when he is at his best he can be a special player.

As amazing as this game was, it was only one. He has shown these brilliant performances multiple times but there have also been some duds.

This game will not lead Justin Fields to overtake trevor Lawrence as the top prospect, but it very much puts him into consideration for the Jets at No. 2 overall. But fans and scouts should still be looking for more from Fields to prove he can do it consistently.

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Thankfully, thanks to Ohio State’s 49-21 win over Clemson, we will get that chance when they face off with Alabama in the National Championship Game next Monday.