CHICAGO – Everyone was waiting for No. 1.
The Bears’ first preseason game was, more than anything, a showcase for Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields. It took a while for Fields to reach the field Saturday at Soldier Field against the Miami Dolphins, and when he did it was less than inspiring – at first.
The rookie entered the game early in the second quarter following two possessions from Andy Dalton and the first-team offense. Fields struggled over his first three possessions, totaling only 10 passing yards on 2-for-6 passing. He fumbled on one scramble, but the ball went out of bounds before the Dolphins could recover it.
But as bad as the first three possessions were, the next three were the exact opposite. They were good enough to give Bears fans plenty of hope for the future.
Fields led the Bears to three consecutive scoring drives and helped the team to a 20-13 victory. Just before halftime, he guided the Bears 42 yards into field goal range in 45 seconds, then led back-to-back touchdown drives to open up the third quarter.
The 11th overall draft pick ran in an 8-yard touchdown and tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jesse James. Fields showed his elite speed, too, breaking free for a 21-yard gain at one point.
— NFL (@NFL) August 14, 2021
Fields finished his day 14-for-20 passing for 142 yards with a touchdown. He also ran for 33 yards and a touchdown on five rushing attempts. Bears head coach Matt Nagy pulled Fields in Favor of veteran third-string quarterback Nick Foles heading into the fourth quarter.
It was an impressive couple of possessions from the rookie, and it was enough to get the NFL world talking about the Bears. The game was broadcast nationwide on NFL Network and was the only game during the noon time slot Saturday.
Fields played well enough to catch the eye of NBA superstar LeBron James, who weighed in on Twitter, writing that Fields “is so SPECIAL man!!”
Justin Fields is so SPECIAL man!! Keep going Young 👑
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 14, 2021
And that he was. This was the first chance most Bears fans have had to see the former Ohio State quarterback. Fans are going to be clamoring for more Fields as the calendar heads to the regular season, and Saturday’s performance added a little more fuel to the fire.
Earlier in the day, the first-team offense struggled during its two possessions. Dalton, an 11th-year veteran, and the first-team failed to pick up a first down and netted only 24 yards of offense. A holding penalty by right guard Alex Bars sent the offense backwards on its second possession.
The starting offense was playing without receiver Allen Robinson and without its presumed starting tackles. Left tackle Teven Jenkins (back) and right tackle Germain Ifedi (hip) remain out with injuries.
But most fans weren’t too concerned with what Dalton was up to. Saturday was all about Justin Fields.
Source: The Daily Chronicle