Chicago Bears poor OL is case to start, not sit Justin Fields

There have been a few cases made towards starting Andy Dalton, at least for the first couple of weeks. One of them has been that the Chicago Bears’ offensive line is so bad that it is better to let them get their feet under them before throwing a rookie behind them.

That is fair considering the first time Jason Peters, Germain Ifedi, and James Daniels will ever suit up in a line together in a game setting will be week one. However, if there is one thing that we saw against the Buffalo Bills it is that if a team is going to win with a bad offensive line they need a mobile quarterback.

Yes, Justin Fields could take more hits earlier in the season because of the line. At the same time, he could avoid more hits than Andy Dalton due to his mobility and fear to extend the play.

Yes, the players got worse and Justin Fields scrambled and picked up first downs on backups. However, the line he played with mostly subbed, and the line Dalton had was bad. Imagine how rough it was for Fields. However, you could not notice the pressure with Fields, and when you did, he would spin around and grab the first down. Fields finished with four rushes for 46 yards.

Beyond being able to evade pressure himself, Fields creates a hesitancy in teams to send a pass rush. Defensive coordinators know that the Bears’ offensive line will be unstable and that Dalton is not fast enough if they send linebackers and corners.

Teams can relentlessly attack Dalton in the pocket, but Fields is more capable to escape that tackle and burn you for blitzing. All of a sudden defenses are not only blitzing less, but their defensive linemen are playing contain to set the edge against Fields rather than pinning their ears back and attacking Dalton.

It is fair to note that the Bears want him to develop good habits as a passer, and relying on his mobility early could hurt that. At the same time, it will create the fight or flight mentality that he showed at Ohio State. His confidence and understanding in those situations should improve and the mentality should be to let him grow in those moments.

While there is a fear of starting Fields behind a potentially bad offensive line, there is just as much benefit to it. Fields’ mobility in itself improves the offensive line in ways that Dalton cannot.