LAKE FOREST, Ailing. — Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy officially switched starting quarterbacks when he introduced Wednesday that rookie Justin Fields is the membership’s starter transferring ahead, no matter Andy Dalton’s (knee) well being standing.
Nagy emphasised that the Bears will not flip again to Dalton, barring damage, telling gathered media, “That is Justin’s time.”
Fields, who began Weeks Three and Four attributable to Dalton’s damage, will once more lead the Bears’ offense after they go to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET on CBS). Listed below are 5 causes Nagy and the Bears determined to make the transfer to the previous Ohio State standout:
1. The Bears moved as much as get him
As soon as the Bears traded up 9 spots to take Fields within the first spherical of the 2021 NFL draft, it grew to become inevitable that he would finally be Chicago’s full-time beginning quarterback. Groups had traded up within the first spherical — or into the primary spherical — to draft a quarterback 19 occasions from 2002 to 2020. It occurred seven occasions from 2017 to 2020, with groups taking the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen (and Mitchell Trubisky). Heard of them?
Fields is the longer term. Everybody at Bears headquarters knew it the second Fields stepped into the constructing for the primary time. It was solely a matter of time earlier than Fields leapfrogged Dalton on the depth chart.
2. Dalton’s knee damage
The second Dalton suffered a bone bruise in his left knee within the second quarter of the Bears’ Sept. 19 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, it was over for the veteran quarterback, regardless of Nagy telling reporters Dalton would stay the starter when wholesome. It’s not as if the Bears wanted a lot incentive to go along with Fields, who already had performed snaps towards the Los Angeles Rams and Bengals previous to Dalton’s damage in Week 2. Dalton’s knee situation opened the door for Fields, and the Bears by no means actually regarded again, even after Fields posted a QBR of 8.Four in his beginning debut towards the Cleveland Browns the next week.
3. Huge-play potential
Fields put up modest numbers (11-of-17 for 209 yards and one interception) in Sunday’s 24-14 win over the Detroit Lions, however 5 of Fields’ completions went for 20-plus yards. Fields hit vast receiver Darnell Mooney downfield for positive factors of 64 and 32 yards. That’s an enormous deal for a Bears offense that had lacked explosive-play potential.
Of Dalton’s 49 tried passes this season, none traveled 20 or extra air yards, making him the one quarterback with 40 or extra passes this season who hasn’t thrown deep, in line with ESPN Stats & Info analysis. Fields, however, is 5-of-Eight when throwing 20 or extra air yards this season, together with 4-of-5 in Week Four towards the Lions. In all, 15% of his throws have been 20 or extra air yards, which is the fifth-highest mark of 34 quarterbacks with a minimum of 40 makes an attempt.
Merely put, with Fields, the Bears are a menace to throw deep.
4. He can run
Fields has elite pace and is a menace each time he scrambles out of the pocket. Dalton doesn’t have that trait. Particularly now with operating again David Montgomery out for a number of weeks with a sprained knee, the Bears want a menace to run the soccer. Fields supplies that. How briskly is he? Fields reached a most pace of 20.39 miles per hour as a ball provider in his preseason debut, in line with NFL Subsequent Gen Stats. On the time, that was the quickest pace reached by any Bears rusher since 2020.
The Bears additionally did a greater job of taking part in to Fields’ strengths towards the Lions, when new playcaller Invoice Lazor ramped up the offense’s play-action utilization and put Fields below heart greater than in earlier video games. The Bears hope the elevated use of Fields’ mobility will proceed with Lazor on the controls.
5. It is what the town needed
The general public anger at Nagy’s indecision at quarterback previous to Wednesday was intense. The followers needed Fields, and have from Day 1. The considered going again to Dalton was insufferable (pardon the expression) to nearly all of followers in Chicago. Bears followers haven’t had a real franchise quarterback since Sid Luckman retired greater than 70 years in the past. Many imagine Fields generally is a respectable franchise passer. The fan base couldn’t wait any longer. Are you able to blame them?