After Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields left the team’s Week 11 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens in the second half with a rib injury, veteran backup Andy Dalton entered the game in relief.
Fields and the Bears’ offense had been ineffective all game, failing to put any points on the board several minutes into the third quarter when the rookie QB was injured while scrambling on a 3rd down play.
Fields was eventually ruled out with a rib injury, which led to the Red Rifle’s return. Dalton promptly led the team down the field, netting 83 yards and a touchdown on just two plays. Naturally, it set Twitter off.
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Element of Bears Twitter Calls for Dalton to Start Over Fields After 83-Yard TD Drive
Dalton was initially slated to be the team’s starter, and he was, for the first two weeks. Fields’ talent and athleticism were too difficult for head coach Matt Nagy and company to ignore, and the rookie took over, eventually getting named the starter over Dalton in early October.
The Bears haven’t been lighting the league up offensively — quite the opposite, actually — but Fields has shown strong potential and growth, and has earned the opportunity to start. When Dalton entered the game in relief, something happened that doesn’t happen enough.
One of the primary knocks on Nagy’s offense, particularly this season, has been the lack of screen passes incorporated into the game plan. When Dalton took the field, the second play was a screen pass to wide receiver Darnell Mooney, and it went for a 60-yard score:
The play tied the game (kicker Cairo Santos gave Chicago the lead when he made the extra point) and apparently, that was all it took for a huge chunk of Bears Twitter to call for Dalton to take the starting job back from Fields.
One fan said Dalton was “out-playing” Fields:
Some claimed Chicago would be in the hunt right now if Dalton had been the team’s starter all year:
Others were annoyed that Dalton was the beneficiary of play calls Fields doesn’t seem to get much:
There was also a strong contingent expressing disbelief at the willingness to toss a promising rookie QB aside in favor of an aging vet:
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Strong Segment of Twitter Has Fields’ Back
Dalton didn’t do much after the initial touchdown drive — until the final two minutes of the game, that is.
On 4th down, with six yards to go, Dalton heaved a 49-yard TD to wideout Marquise Goodwin:
It was an excellent throw and a solid catch, but in between the two big plays, the Red Rifle looked rusty and appeared inaccurate much of the game. He finished the game completing 11 of 23 passes, many of which were wildly underthrown, and Twitter noticed that, as well.
There was also a strong contingent of fans who wanted Fields to be the team’s starter moving forward.
One fan noted this was the rookie’s team now:
Others mentioned the most important thing should be the development of Fields:
The Bears also ultimately lost the game, 16-13, with the Dalton-led comeback eventually falling short. We’ll see what the updates on Fields’ rib injury are, but considering Chicago plays again Thursday afternoon, we may see Dalton for at least one more game.
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