‘This is Justin’s time’: 5 reasons why the Chicago Bears are sticking with Justin Fields at quarterback
‘This is Justin’s time’: 5 reasons why the Chicago Bears are sticking with Justin Fields at quarterback.
– Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy stated on Wednesday that rookie Justin Fields would be the team’s starting quarterback going forward, regardless of Andy Dalton’s (knee) health condition.
“This is Justin’s moment,” Nagy told the assembled reporters,
emphasizing that the Bears would not revert back to Dalton until he is injured.
Fields, who took over as the Bears’ offensive coordinator in Weeks 3 and 4 due to Dalton’s injury,
will take the reins once again when the Bears face the Raiders on Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET on CBS).
Here are five reasons why Nagy and the Bears chose to hire the former Ohio State quarterback:
The Bears moved up to get him
Fields were destined to be Chicago’s full-time starting quarterback after the Bears moved up nine places to select him in the first round of the 2021 NFL draught. From 2002 through 2020,
teams moved up in the first round – or into the first round – to select a quarterback 19 times. From 2017 through 2020, it occurred seven times, with clubs drafting Patrick Mahomes,
Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen (and Mitchell Trubisky). Have you heard of them?
Fields are the way of the future.
The minute Fields walked into the building for the first time, everyone at Bears headquarters knew.
It was just a matter of time until Fields overtook Dalton as the starting quarterback.
The damage to Dalton’s knee
Despite Nagy assuring reporters that Dalton will remain the starter when fit, the veteran quarterback sustained a bone bruise in his left knee in the second quarter of the Bears’ Sept. 19 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bears didn’t need much persuasion to go with Fields, who had already seen action against the Rams and Bengals prior to Dalton’s injury in Week 2.
Fields were brought in after Dalton’s knee injury, and the Bears never looked back,
even after Fields’ 8.4 QBR in his first start against the Cleveland Browns the following week.
The ability to make a big play
Fields had a modest performance in Sunday’s 24-14 victory against the Detroit Lions (11-of-17 for 209 yards and one interception), but five of his completions were for 20 yards or more. Fields found wide receiver Darnell Mooney for 64 and 32 yard gains downfield. That’s a big thing for a Bears offence that hasn’t had much in the way of explosive plays in the past.
According to ESPN Stats & Information data, none of Dalton’s 49 attempted throws this season have gone 20 or more air yards, making him the only quarterback with 40 or more attempts this season who hasn’t thrown deep. Fields, on the other hand, is 5-of-8 this season when passing 20 or more air yards, including 4-of-5 against the Lions in Week 4. In all, 15% of his passes have gone 20 yards or more, which ranks sixth among 34 quarterbacks with at least 40 attempts.
Simply stated, Fields gives the Bears a chance to throw deep.
He has the ability to run.
Fields is a danger every time he scrambles out of the pocket because of his exceptional speed. That is not a characteristic that Dalton has. The Bears need a rushing threat now that running back David Montgomery is sidelined for many weeks due to a damaged knee. Fields can help you with that. How quick is he? According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Fields achieved a top speed of 20.39 mph as a ball carrier in his preseason debut. That was the quickest pace by a Bears rusher since 2020 at the time.
When new play-caller Bill Lazor increased the offense’s play-action use and placed Fields at center more than in prior games, the Bears did a better job of playing to Fields’ strengths. The Bears are hoping that with Lazor at the helm, the greater usage of Fields’ mobility will continue.
It’s exactly what the city demanded.
Prior to Wednesday, the public was enraged by Nagy’s uncertainty at quarterback. Fields have been a fan favorite from day one. The prospect of returning to Dalton was intolerable (forgive the phrase) to the vast majority of Chicago supporters. Since Sid Luckman retired more than 70 years ago, Bears fans haven’t had a genuine franchise quarterback. Many people think Fields has the potential to be a genuine franchise passer. The fan base could no longer wait. Is it possible to blame them?