You are going to hear a lot of hot takes and bold statements made throughout the NFL Preseason, and one of the biggest discussions will center around the quarterback position in Chicago. Andy Dalton has already been named the starting quarterback for the Bears, but it is time for Matt Nagy and company to rethink that claim.
Chicago lucked into being able to select Justin Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft as there is no way he should have slid past the first 10 picks. Nagy continues to claim that Fields will play when he is ready, but it’s hard to think that he isn’t ready right now.
The hype surrounding Fields, especially in Chicago, is pretty high and that isn’t going to change after what fans saw in the preseason opener. Fields put the Bears on his back after taking the field and led the team to an impressive win over the Miami Dolphins.
All Fields did in that game was go 14-20 through the air for 142 yards and one touchdown pass. The former Ohio State star also had five carries for 33 yards and another score.
Sure, Fields was facing the 2nd and 3rd defensive units for the Dolphins, but he was also playing without the offensive starters. It took Fields some time to get comfortable, but then he put on a show at Soldier Field, a place that he will call home for a very long time.
Nagy now has a decision to make, but the decision seems pretty clear after just one preseason game.
Only Chance to Win the NFC North
It is pretty clear that the only chance that the Chicago Bears have of winning the NFC North is if Justin Fields is as good as advertised. The Green Bay Packers are still the heavy favorites to win the NFC North, but a great year from Fields can close the gap a bit.
Fields is going to struggle at times this season, but he is clearly the top option at the quarterback position for the Bears. It takes a ton of points to knock off the Green Bay Packers, and Andy Dalton is not the quarterback to lead an explosive offense.
The defense of the Bears is still going to be strong in 2021, and that unit deserves a chance to play with the best quarterback on the roster. Fields is clearly the most talented quarterback, and he could give the defense some rest by extending plays with his legs.
Winning the NFC North is still going to be a longshot for the Bears, but it would be less of a surprise with Fields starting all 17 games this season.
Bears Fans Finally Have Hope
The other thing that Fields provides doesn’t have anything to do with what takes place on the football field. This franchise has seen dozens of mediocre to bad quarterbacks line up under center since Jim McMahon led the team to the Super Bowl.
Seeing Fields on the field gives hope to every Bears fan that buys a ticket at Soldier Field to every fan that lives and dies with every play while at home on their couch. Hope is a great thing to have, and this is the first time that some Bears fans have ever experienced that at the quarterback position.
The expectations that Bears fans are putting on Fields are extremely high, and they might not be attainable for a few years. Having high expectations for a quarterback is a rare thing in Chicago as this fan base is used to the QB being the reason the team isn’t any good.
If Matt Nagy wants to keep the fan base off of his back then he will start Fields Week 1 and live with the results.