Chicago Bears: 3 key observations of Justin Fields vs the Bengals
Observation No. 3 of Chicago Bears QB, Justin Fields: The play-calling
This is not on Justin Fields, but more on Matt Nagy. When Andy Dalton was in the game, the Chicago Bears had some serious success running the football and then used play action to open up the passing game. Matt Nagy also moved the pocket around schematically, even using bootlegs to roll Dalton outside of the pocket. These were important changes I talked about needing to take place to beat the Bengals.
This all seemed to go by the wayside when Justin Fields stepped into the game. Instead of using play action, Matt Nagy seemed to take the Fields RPO package and just expand upon it. This might be due to Fields not taking starter reps. More likely, it was Matt Nagy just getting excited to use his new toy for more than a play here or there (newsflash, he could have just started Fields from the beginning but whatever).
Fields is definitely going to be able to run the RPO offense better than Andy Dalton, however, this should not stop the Chicago Bears from using play action with Justin Fields at quarterback. A great running game is any quarterback’s best friend.
The lack of bootlegs though is what really surprises me. Justin Fields has proven over and over again how good he is at both throwing on the run and extending plays with his legs. His run at the end of the game to get the first down secured the Chicago Bears victory after nearly handing the win to the Bengals. Why are you okay rolling Andy Dalton out of the pocket, but not Justin Fields? That made no sense to me.
We will have to wait and see what happens with Andy Dalton as the Chicago Bears head into Week 3 on the road versus the Cleveland Browns. Initial reports by Matt Nagy and the team medical staff are that they do not believe Dalton tore his ACL.
We will have to wait for his MRI results to know the severity of what is going on. Hopefully, if Justin Fields does have to start in Week 3, Nagy doesn’t continue to abandon these two crucial play designs while Fields is in at quarterback.