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NFL Draft

The Case For Justin Fields Starting Week 1

  • The Draft Network
  • May 15, 2021
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By Michael Fitzpatrick

The Chicago Bears’ 2021 schedule was released earlier this week, and they found out they will be facing the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football in Week 1. This is an important game for every team’s season, but it’s especially salient for the Bears’ 2021 campaign. Debates rage on about whether Justin Fields or Andy Dalton should trot out there as Chicago’s opening day starter.

The answer is that Fields should absolutely start from Day 1. The best way for anyone to learn something is by doing it. Fields isn’t going to learn how to be a starting quarterback in the NFL by sitting on the bench while Dalton plays.

There’s also the business element of the NFL at play in this situation. General manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy are both in make-or-break seasons. The best way to save their jobs is to play the infinitely more talented Fields.

Fields’ mobility gives the Bears more options as well. Last season, Nick Foles struggled mightily behind a poor Bears’ offensive line because he was unable to evade rushers. When Mitchell Trubisky took over the starting job after the bye week, Chicago ran a ton of bootlegs to utilize Trubisky’s mobility and take pressure off of the offensive line. The Bears have a less than ideal situation at right tackle with Germain Ifedi and Elijah Wilkinson competing for the starting job. At left tackle, Chicago will have 2021 second-round pick Teven Jenkins, who has minimal experience at the position. All that is to say, Chicago’s offensive line figures to be a major weak point once again. Using Fields’ athleticism to take pressure off the offensive line is an easy way for Nagy to help his offense be successful.

Fields also allows the Bears to take more downfield shots. Pushing the ball vertically best utilizes the skillsets of wide receivers Allen Robinson II and Darnell Mooney. This would force defenses to back off and give David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen more room to run.

Not only is Fields the quarterback of the future and needs experience, but he’s also the best quarterback on the roster right now; the Bears should construct their quarterback depth chart accordingly.

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