After seeing veteran quarterback Andy Dalton in action for the first time with the Chicago Bears, a number of questions remain unanswered for the Bears, who continue to insist that Dalton will be the starting quarterback to open the season. Dalton’s struggles in week 2 against the Buffalo Bills were more than apparent. After punting on three of the Bears’ first four possessions, Dalton’s lone highlight of the afternoon was a 73-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Rodney Adams.
When rookie quarterback Justin Fields took over in the second half, Chicago once again showed signs of life, however, the Bears were unable to capitalize with just nine second half points. Dalton’s poor performance has led to questions, including a major one that will need to be answered soon: Are the Bears making a mistake starting Dalton?
The simple answer is yes. What the Bears do at the quarterback position in 2021 needs to be predicated upon two factors: Fields and what’s best for Fields. Starting Dalton takes away valuable reps for Fields, who’s proven more than enough throughout practice that the 11th overall pick deserves a chance to play with the first-team. When we say the word “valuable reps”, we are simply referring to reps with the first-team that would give Fields the opportunity to develop chemistry with playmakers such as wide receivers Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, and tight end Cole Kmet.
Head coach Matt Nagy insisted after Saturday’s loss to the Bills that Dalton would remain the starter. When Chicago faces the Tennessee Titans, the gameplan needs to feature heavy doses of Fields as the starter throughout the game. If preseason games are merely dress rehearsals and provide teams with an opportunity to evaluate talent, the Bears should be taking full advantage of the preseason to see what Fields is able to do with extended playing time and not just scripted reps that the coaches had preplanned for.