Chicago Bears: Justin Fields showed why he he deserves first-team reps

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

I’m not sure if there has ever been more excitement for a rookie quarterback to make his first start than there was for Justin Fields going into his Chicago Bears debut.

I’ll admit, his first couple series looked rocky, but the key takeaway from those series was that the issues were not Justin’s fault. His supporting cast didn’t settle in and as a result, there were a lot of early miscues which cut drives short.

Justin Fields showed early promise of being the Chicago Bears’ answer to the century-long quarterback question.

When he first took the field (to a standing ovation nonetheless), one of the first things I noticed was Justin Fields’ poise. While his head coach once again called plays that the wide receivers were simply not capable of executing, Justin never seemed bothered or flustered in the pocket.

His quickness was apparent and especially for his size, his runs were a thing of beauty to watch in real-time. He threw the football like it was a nerf football – on a rope with so much ease, and such precision, accuracy, and touch. Even the play that was almost intercepted, the tight end would have caught it had he not fallen down – which brings me to my next observation.

The Chicago Bears need to see what Justin Fields can do with the first-stringers.

The only way I could describe the first-string offense would be as “okay.” Andy Dalton was okay – I thought he locked into his reads (especially on the third-down incompletion to Cole Kmet), but he did show his veteran experience getting the offense in and out of the huddle. Ultimately though, in their two drives, it was clear to me that Dalton is the limiting factor for this offense.

The Chicago Bears must see what Justin Fields can do with the first-team because defenses are simply not going to respect the outside perimeter threats of Damiere Byrd, Marquise Goodwin, and Darnell Mooney if Andy Dalton is the one that has to deliver the ball. Fields showed, especially in the second half, that he can make throws from a variety of platforms and can take off with his 4.4 speed when necessary.

It was also evident from Nagy’s playcalling that his offensive scheme and attack plan requires extremely skilled players. His scheme cannot be run by second-teamers and practice squad players which is what made his playcalling in the second quarter extremely frustrating. From the getgo it was clear, Fields could execute these plays, but they took too long to develop because the receivers struggled to get separation. As a result, he had to hold the ball long, tuck it and run, or throw into precarious situations.

To not see what Justin Fields can do with the first team would just be disingenuous by the coaching staff. In his Chicago Bears tenure, Matt Nagy has been constantly criticized for not calling plays that match the strengths of his players and he has, Justin Fields, the potential key to his offensive scheme sitting on the bench because of the “Mahomes” model.

It’s time that Nagy realizes that this team doesn’t have a Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce in Chicago for Dalton to dump the ball off to, but that he does have Justin Fields who, with his legs and incredible deep ball accuracy, has the best shot of maximizing this team’s talent and turning Nagy’s dreams for the offense into reality.

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All in all, while I am not going to overreact and say Justin Fields is already a star and is going to end the season as one of the league’s best quarterbacks, parts of his debut did expose why his talent could help Nagy and the Chicago Bears’ offense reach their potential sooner rather than later.