The Chicago Bears had a night to forget in their season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Yet fans still saw glimpses of Fields as he completed both of his passes and also ran for a touchdown.
Dalton, meanwhile, went 27/38 for 206 yards and an interception in the 34-14 loss.
If Dalton was truly the only man in the plans, Fields should not have played.
But the fact he was out there at all shows the Bears may be trying to ease him into action.
They need to forget about that plan and just get him in as the starter.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 13, 2021
Jobs On The Line
Nagy has to be thinking he is on the hot seat after the ugly Week 1 performance.
Going back and forth between Dalton and Fields does him no good in the job security department.
The same should also be true for GM Ryan Pace, who is actually the one who signed Dalton in the first place.
Both are linked and ownership may seek a change if the team fails to reach the postseason in 2021.
There is no more time to blame the quarterback like the Bears did with Mitchell Trubisky.
Fields is a second chance, which is something most coaches and GMs do not get.
And the last thing the team can afford is for Nagy to put the rookie on the field for gadget plays, only to get him hurt.
Justin Fields' first NFL snap in the regular season came on 2nd-and-10 from LA's 12. He completed a 9-yard pass to WR Marquise Goodwin. What happened next for the Bears? False start, timeout and then Andy Dalton gets picked off in the end zone.
Just play the kid or don't, right?
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) September 13, 2021
Fields made a name for himself in college as a thrower, and not a runner.
There is no need to have him running all the time now in the NFL.
Dalton Not The Answer
For Dalton, it would be a bummer to show up and be named the starter, only for the team to draft Fields and be benched.
Yet that is just the business of the NFL.
The best way for him to keep his job is to play like he deserves it.
The Rams are admittedly a tough opponent to open the season against.
Week 2 brings a matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, which is a bit of a revenge game for Dalton.
If he fails to throw a touchdown against that defense, there are no excuses.
All the early signs, and his 2020 performance, point toward him continuing to struggle.
Week 3 then brings a tough matchup against the Cleveland Browns.
So it is possible that no matter how bad Dalton looks, the Bears may keep Fields on the sidelines until after that Browns game.
If the team starts 0-3 before going to Fields, it is going to be a tall task for him to turn it all around.
But if he can, Bears fans will rejoice and everyone can keep their jobs.
If he is not showing the proper development under Nagy, however, the coach will have to go.
This is a complicated situation made worse by the fact this all got started by the Bears trading up for Trubisky when no other team was going to take him so high.
Making the switch to Fields and hoping he is the answer may be their only hope.