It was a cool summer afternoon at Soldier Field as the Chicago Bears opened up the preseason against the Miami Dolphins. Quarterback Justin Fields made his debut, playing in the second and third quarter, going 14-for-20, 142 yards, combined with one passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown. Fields’ mobility was also on display as the 11th overall pick rushed five times for 33 yards.
There’s a lot to digest when it comes to Fields preseason debut. After what appeared to be early jitters, the rookie quarterback slowed down, hitting wide receivers with quick, easy completions before, leading to a 14 point explosion for the Bears in the third quarter. This is just the start for Fields, who will look to improve as the season goes on. What’s noteworthy is that Fields did play more than veteran Andy Dalton, who played just two series and completed just two passes for 18 yards, averaging 4.5 yards per attempt.
Throughout the afternoon, much of what made Fields such a pro-ready quarterback was on display. Accuracy, poise, mobility, ball placement, and solid decision-making. Nothing is perfect in the NFL, however, Fields debut was more good than bad, which is encouraging as the Bears continue to prepare for the regular season.
The highlight of the afternoon came midway through the third quarter when Fields scrambled for 21 yards, which then set up a 30-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jesse James just two plays later. Fields to James is a connection that has emerged quickly and showcases Fields ability to connect with pass catchers.
When the Bears return to Halas Hall on Monday to prepare for the Buffalo Bills, there will be a number of questions to answer. What will coaches make of Dalton and Fields’ preseason debuts? Is Fields going to make the Bears coaching staff second-guess naming Dalton the starter? With just about a month to go until the regular season, Fields appears to be trending in the right direction for the Bears and Saturday was an indication of the potential that the 11th overall pick holds.