Justin Fields
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

New York Jets fans can feel a lot better about their QB options at the No. 2 draft slot after Justin Fields’ marvelous performance against Clemson.

Following their team’s loss of Trevor Lawrence due to a shocking win over the Rams on December 20, Jets fans gathered around their television screens to watch BYU quarterback Zach Wilson in the Boca Raton Bowl on December 22. He delivered under the spotlight, compiling 425 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, and two rushing touchdowns as he cemented his status as the fanbase’s consensus favorite option to become the franchise’s new savior.

New Year’s Day featured a similar spectacle for Jets fans, making the QB2 debate even more tightly contested than it already was. Wilson’s top competitor for the QB2 spot on the 2021 NFL draft board, Justin Fields, put out an all-time great performance against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, regaining a massive amount of faith from the draft community after a rough three-game stretch that had many souring on him.

With the world watching, Fields completed 22 of 28 passes for 385 yards (13.8 per attempt), six touchdowns, and one interception, earning a Total QBR score of 99.0. Even more impressively, Fields compiled much of that production after a bone-shattering hit to the ribs near the end of the first half, which left him in visible agony throughout the night.

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Fields’ deep passing was the highlight of his performance, as he completed 6 of 9 passes that traveled over 20 yards downfield for a total of 222 yards (24.7 per attempt), three touchdowns, and no interceptions. He got things going late in the first quarter with this 47-yard bomb to Garrett Wilson.

Fields then punched the ball into the end zone with a pinpoint laser-beam to tight end Luke Farrell from a congested pocket, showing good field vision as he scanned all the way from right-to-left.

In the second quarter, Fields took this hit from linebacker James Skalski, who was ejected for leading with the helmet. Fields exited for only one play before returning to the game, but he was limping throughout the remainder of the half.

Here’s what Fields did on his first play back in action.

On his very next drive, Fields came right back out and led Ohio State to another touchdown drive, capped off with this rocket.

Based on the way he was moving around, it seemed possible that Fields might not return in the second half, but he sure did, and he looked as confident and dialed-in as ever.

The 2021 NFL draft kicks off on April 29, 117 days from today. Until then, the Fields-vs-Wilson debates will rage on endlessly in Jets land. There is no definitively correct answer between the two, but given their bodies of work, it is tough to argue that either of them is not a strong option at the No. 2 slot.

All-22 Film Breakdowns on 2021 NFL Draft Quarterback Prospects:

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Michael Nania is the best analytical New York Jets mind in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: [email protected] - Twitter: @Michael_Nania

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