Matt Nagy has seen the light.
Nagy reversed course on Wednesday, taking the action most everyone hoped to see (and Bears fans wanted) by naming rookie Justin Fields the team’s starting quarterback moving forward.
“He’s done everything to show us that he’s ready for this opportunity,” Nagy explained.
Chicago visits the Las Vegas Raiders this Sunday.
Fields shook off a couple of difficult outings to shine in Week 4, completing 11 of 17 passes for 209 yards and helping jumpstart a dormant Bears offense in their 24-14 win over the Detroit Lions. The performance included connecting with Darnell Mooney five times for 125 yards, as well as establishing a connection with No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson. In total, Fields put together a few highlights that included holding a safety with his head before firing a strike to Mooney for a gain of 64 yards.
That play alone sold many on Fields’ potential, clearing the way for the decision that seemed obvious to most everyone: hand the keys to the kid.
Fields was initially forced into action due to a knee injury suffered by veteran starter Andy Dalton in Week 2, but the takeoff was a bit bumpy for the rookie. Fields struggled in his first NFL action, completing 6 of 13 passes for 60 yards and an interception, nearly allowing the Bengals to complete an unlikely comeback effort in Chicago’s eventual 20-17 win over Cincinnati. The going got even tougher for Fields in his first career start a week later, with Chicago failing to protect the youngster and allowing him to be sacked nine times in a 26-6 loss to Cleveland.
In that game, Fields completed just 6 of 20 passes for 68 yards, finishing with exactly one net passing yard. But things turned toward the positive end of the spectrum in Week 4 against Detroit, enough that Nagy has seen enough — or felt enough external pressure — to officially begin the Fields era in Chicago, ending the Dalton bridge experiment after one month (and just a game and a half of action).
Fields will meet a test similar to the one he struggled through in Week 3 when his Bears face the Raiders — owners of the league’s second-highest QB pressure rate (trailing only the Browns) — this weekend in Las Vegas. He’ll spend the rest of the week with the knowledge that the job is his, and his journey is only just beginning.
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