Bears QB Justin Fields chasing history as he squares off with Eagles’ Jalen Hurts

Fields is 63 yards from tying Bobby Douglass’ franchise record for rushing by a quarterback, set in 1972, and 95 short of becoming the third quarterback to reach 1,000 — joining Lamar Jackson and Michael Vick.

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It’s not all bad and boring as the Bears trudge through a lost season that could end with their worst record since 1969.

In fact, Sunday brings something rarely seen in Chicago over the last several decades: a must-watch quarterback showdown.

Justin Fields, whose rise has pumped electricity into an otherwise listless season, leads all NFL quarterbacks with 905 rushing yards. Two spots behind him is his upcoming foe, the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts, at 686.

Even with the Eagles as overwhelming favorites, holding a clear edge in nearly every aspect, every snap of this game is can’t-miss. Fields and Hurts have the potential for fireworks every time they touch the ball.

There was mutual respect between the two this week as they prepared to face each other for the first time since getting some snaps off the bench in the 2018 SEC title game, when Hurts played for Alabama and Fields for Georgia. Hurts credited Fields as “a definite threat,” and Fields said he always has admired Hurts as a player and person.

“Just the way he carries himself,” Fields said. “Me and him are similar in our humility, and he’s a great leader, great person on and off the field.

“Being in Philly, that’s a city where they have passionate fans as well, so just . . . the stuff he had to go through in Years 1 and 2 where some people didn’t believe in him. He just stayed down, believed in himself, and that’s really all you have to do. . . . And you see what happened.”

Hurts is one step further down the path than Fields. The Eagles drafted him in the second round out of Oklahoma in 2020 and started him in four games that season as Carson Wentz’s backup. He showed promise, but not greatness, last season, then took a giant stride this year. He leads the NFL in passer rating (108.4) and interception percentage (just 0.8% of his passes have been picked) and is top-10 in virtually everything else. He’s an incredible runner, too.

But he’s far from the only reason the Eagles are the NFL’s top team at 12-1. There’s no denying Hurts’ talent, and he’s a deserving front-runner to win the MVP Award. There’s also no denying the Eagles have supplied with him everything Fields is missing. Hurts plays behind the NFL’s sturdiest offensive line and has a three-time 1,000-yard receiver in A.J. Brown, plus various other gifted skill players such as tight end Dallas Goedert and running back Miles Sanders. He also enjoys the safety net of an excellent defense.

He’s practically playing a different sport than Fields, who goes into every game knowing it’s all on him.

Fields has managed that situation well nonetheless. He rode out a rough start to show across-the-board improvement. His completion percentage, yards per pass and passer rating are all up from his rookie season and, incidentally, very close to what Hurts posted last season.

And he’s the NFL’s best runner at his position. That’s a strong combination for a second-year quarterback.

Fields is 63 yards shy of Bobby Douglass’ 1972 record for rushing by a Bears QB and 95 short of becoming the third QB in NFL history to reach 1,000, joining Lamar Jackson (2019 and 2020) and Michael Vick (2006). Hurts needs to average at least 78.5 rushing yards over his final four games to join the club.

“That would be crazy, with Michael Vick,” said Fields, who grew up in the Atlanta area and wore Vick’s cleats as a kid. “It would be awesome. And Lamar, everybody knows he’s a great quarterback, a dynamic play-maker. Having my name with those two guys would be great for sure.”

It’ll be a compelling show at Soldier Field: the upstart, record-breaking quarterback taking on, perhaps, the emerging MVP. That’s quite a thrill, regardless of how far apart the two teams are.

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Albert Ruddy produced more than 30 movies, from the “Godfather” and “Million Dollar Baby” to “Cannonball Run II” and “Megaforce,” nominees for Golden Raspberry awards for worst movie of the year.