What Tyson Bagent's performance tells us about Justin Fields

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears
Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

Tyson Bagent’s NFL debut left much to be desired in the Chicago Bears' 19-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. After Justin Fields left the game with a hand injury, Bagent threw an ugly interception, lost a fumble, and struggled to push the ball downfield. 

However, even in a rough outing, Bagent’s game told us a lot about the Bears coaching staff, specifically how they feel about Fields. With Bagent in the game, the Bears finally had some semblance of a short passing attack. Between screens and other quick-hitting concepts, it was clear the Bears were more comfortable dialing up short passes for their backup.

Getsy has become the fanbase's punching bag, given his inconsistent play-calling. While Getsy certainly hasn’t been a Kyle Shanahan or Sean McVay, it’s important to point out how his quarterback has made his job harder. 

Fields has some of the worst short accuracy in the league and lacks the timing to play in rhythm. Because of this, Getsy wisely tries to avoid plays that force Justin Fields to do those things. Unfortunately, against a team like the Vikings, this causes issues.

Minnesota came into Week 6 with the highest blitz rate in football. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores has had one objective with the Vikings: Get to the quarterback. 

With the right personnel, blitzes can be effective, but they also take defenders out of coverage, creating more favorable matchups for wide receivers. All of this, however, predicates on identifying where pressure is coming from and getting rid of the ball quickly, neither of which is Fields’ strong suit.

This creates an issue for the Bears schematically. Fields doesn’t have time for longer developing concepts and lacks the skill set for shorter ones. Pretty much any play that is drawn up feels like a loser. 

For a quarterback as talented as Justin Fields, he seems to have a lot of limitations that constrain the offense. He doesn’t sense pressure, struggles to read defenses, and is reluctant to attack the middle of the field. 

Fields only knows how to win one way: hunting the big play. This may work some weeks, but the big play isn’t always going to be there. Without these splash plays, Fields looks lost and doesn’t know how to lead the offense. 


No one should be calling for an undrafted rookie from a Division Two school to take the reins of a multi-billion-dollar franchise. Bagent is a limited player who is still trying to develop as a backup, but the fact that the Bears trust him to run basic concepts more than Justin Fields doesn’t bode well for the third-year starter and speaks volumes to the current situation in Halas Hall.