The talk of Chicago this week has been the strong performance Justin Fields had in his first preseason game as a member of the Bears.
For a franchise that has seen continuous struggles at the quarterback position over the year, it was encouraging to see Fields play well against the Dolphins last Saturday. Though he started off going three-and-out on his first three possessions, he was able to put it together down the stretch and lead the Bears to a victory. Finishing the game going 14-for-20 with 142 yards and a passing touchdown — as well as 33 yards and a touchdown on the ground — the first-round pick lived up to the hype.
As a result of his performance, the buzz continues to grow surrounding his eventual usurping the starting quarterback job from Andy Dalton.
The odds of Fields starting in Week 1 improved from +250 (28.6% implied probability) to +190 (34.5%) after his performance against Miami. Even if he doesn’t get the start in Week 1, the over/under on when he’ll ultimately start is currently set at 4.5 games, according to SportsBettingDime. For reference, the Bears face the Lions in Week 4 and take on the Raiders in Week 5.
Dalton is still the heavy favorite to be the Bears’ starting quarterback come Week 1, but it appears to be only a matter of time before Fields takes it over. Ever since Chicago moved up 9 spots to select Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft, it became apparent that he will be the team’s starting quarterback going forward.
Bears head coach Matt Nagy has remained adamant throughout training camp that Dalton will start for them to kick off the season. It seems unlikely from a distance that Fields will be able to jump Dalton on the depth chart right away, but if the rookie continues to play like he did last week, the team might not have much of a choice.