Of course, Justin Fields should have slipped because if you put yourself in danger like he did on Friday night, you’re going to take a lot of damage in the NFL, more damage than when Clemson LB James Skalski bowed his head and almost got that Ribs cut in half on a second quarter scramble with A hit that earned Skalski a controversial ejection for aiming.
There will come a time, over and over again, and as the years go by, Justin Fields will be reminded that, on the whole, it is important that you, on the whole, not give if you are the face of an NFL franchise, When Playing for Pay After the old college temptation, discretion is the best part of bravery, and you’d better curb your competitive juices around bigger and faster bloodthirsty predators with bad intentions.
But this was the national semifinals of the College Football Playoffs, and this was a holster-holster duel against the great Trevor Lawrence.
The NFL will nod its head and get it all and remember more Justin Fields meeting the moment and staring at Lawrence and England led Ohio State to a 49-28 Sugar Bowl demolition from Clemson in New Orleans and a national championship date with Nick Saban’s Alabama.
All Fields did (22 for 28, 385 yards) was laugh at the pain and throw six touchdown passes. Bombs gone. Accuracy and leadership and the will to win at its finest.
It doesn’t mean Justin Fields will give the Jacksonville Jaguars a break with the No. 1 overall pick. No chance, no way.
It does mean, however, that Justin Fields Jets gave GM Joe Douglas a break with the second choice if he and Adam Gases successor decide they need a successor to Sam Darnold.
The child sure looked like someone’s dream fields.
That successor would be either Fields or BYU’s Zach Wilson.
What if Douglas and the next head coach decide to build around Darnold?
Well, the cost of finishing # 2 has just gone up for a quarterback-desperate team that Justin Fields will covet.
This was Justin Fields’ proving ground after two underperformances against Indiana (3 INTs) and Northwestern (2 INTs) that challenged his ability to process effectively.
This was Justin Fields’ big, bright stage where Clemson trainer Dabo Swinney was fooled for disregarding the Buckeyes when he voted them number 11.
Forgive Swinney and Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables for flashing back Joe Burrow who won LSU’s 42:25 last January’s LSU National Championship (31:49 for 463 yards and 5 TDs, 58 rushing yards and 1 Rushing TD).
Fields had pulverized his right side from the crown of Skalski’s helmet. He lay on his back on the Superdome lawn and stayed there for an excruciating minute.
There was no way Justin Fields stayed down. Or out.
He went to the sidelines. He made a face. He missed a bit. When he got back he immediately fired a 9 yard TD pass at WR Chris Olave. He was examined in the medical tent. He didn’t come out. He finished the first half 16:18 for 223 yards and 4 TDs. Nobody talked about the right thumb he sprained against Northwestern.
There was an intercepted trap in the end zone early in the third quarter.
And not long after, a 55 yard TD cent to Olave, which made it Ohio State 42, Clemson 21.
And then: a rainbow to Jameson Williams for a 45 yard TD that made it Ohio State 49, Clemson 21.
Six TD passes.
Second career loss for Trevor Lawrence.
Second overall win for Justin Fields.
Fields of dreams. For somebody.