During the Preseason, one of the prime focuses to look towards is none other than the QB battles. We had Bridgewater versus Lock, Hill versus Winston, Garrapollo versus Lance, and, most notably, Dalton versus Fields. Just recently, it was named that Andy Dalton would be the starting QB of the Chicago Bears heading into Week 1 of the regular season by Bears’ Head Coach Matt Nagy. Fans and analysts disapproved of this move, and so did former NFL players.
One of the more notable ones was none other than Mitchell Schwartz, former first-team All-Pro and Super Bowl champion for the Kansas City Chiefs.
What Was Said
Mitchell Schwartz stated in the tweet shown below:
Now, what was said by Nagy wasn’t the best way to word it. “We need to see him in the regular season”; don’t you have loads of tape from the regular season to see how he played in it? You can watch those and evaluate him from there with absolute ease.
This is one of the worst explanations I’ve seen in a bit concerning why a QB won the starting job over another. You’re telling fans and everyone else this, “Listen, we’re just going to have him start because I couldn’t do it well enough in the Preseason; also, I just want to stick to what was said months ago.” Schwartz later followed up to this Tweet saying:
So, Is Mitchell Schwartz Right?
Most definitely. Him saying this makes the whole QB competition look more like a sham business scheme; it makes it seem like Fields never truly had a shot to be the Week 1 starter for them, While it did bring a ton of attention, it also made Nagy an unfavorable coach among the Bears faithful. And, that’s the last thing you need to do, especially with what the Bears’ have been through over the past couple of seasons.
Also, in terms of on the field performance, Fields has outshined Dalton in almost every way, shape, and form. Fields has completed around 59% of his passes (23/39) for 222 yards, one touchdown, and an interception; he has also had nine rushes for 76 yards plus a touchdown. Dalton has completed 61% of his passes (13/21) for 164 yards, a touchdown, and an interception; he also never attempted a rush this whole Preseason.
Fields brings a whole new rushing ability to the Bears’ offense, which gives them an extra weapon to use in their games. Why wouldn’t you want that? Also, why aren’t you waiting until the last preseason game to name your starter, especially with a decent competition? If Fields were to have an awe-struck type of game against the Titans on Saturday, then this would make your choice even more confusing to everyone else.
While that may be true, I can think of a few reasons why Dalton is starting over Fields.
What Are The True Reasons For Dalton Starting?
One of them is pretty simple; money. The Bears just signed Dalton to a one-year, $10 million contract with $2.5 million in base salary and signing bonuses. You want to get some sort of use out of someone you’re paying $10 million to play. You can’t have him sit on the bench all season for that kind of cash when that money could go towards someone else and/or another positional group. From a monetary standpoint, I can understand that.
Another reason for this would be to sacrifice him to the defense gods before Fields steps on an actual field. The Bears are playing Aaron Donald and the Rams in Week 1, and they are known to have one of the best defenses coming into this year. The Bears don’t have a great offensive line to start the season; moreover, after the hit Fields sustained against the Bills, it is easy to see why the Bears don’t want to throw him in against the best interior lineman in the league in Fields’ first-ever start.
Also, the Bears have to face the Browns in Week 3. They are known to have an impressive d-line with the likes of Myles Garrett and Jadaveon Clowney, two of the best pass rushers to grace the NFL this year. With that shaky offensive line, it’d be best to sacrifice Dalton and let Fields watch from the sidelines until, hopefully, Week 4.
Mitchell Schwartz is right on the money about this whole situation. The competition was useless, and the only reason Dalton is starting right now is due to money and as a sacrifice to the football defense gods. Nagy should’ve waited until the Preseason was over to make a decision; furthermore, Nagy should’ve worded what he said about why Dalton won a lot more differently. It was one of the worst ways to put it.
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