The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, September 14, 2021 1:00 am

Nagy stays out of QB debate

Says both Dalton, Fields did well

ANDREW SELIGMAN | Associated Press

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – While the debate in Chicago over whether Andy Dalton or Justin Fields should be the Bears' starting quarterback continued, coach Matt Nagy opted to take a pass.

He wasn't about to play the comparison game a day after a season-opening loss to the Rams in Los Angeles.

He insisted that Dalton performed well and that he liked what he saw from Fields. He also sidestepped the question when asked what the veteran brings that the rookie does not.

“Without getting into the comparisons too much, I just think right now when we're evaluating Andy I thought he did a good job of being able to put us in good situations,” Nagy said Monday. “And then using Justin when we did, Justin did well, too.”

Dalton started and threw for 206 yards in Chicago's 34-14 loss. He got intercepted in the end zone on the game's first possession right after Fields helped put the Bears near the goal line. The three-time Pro Bowler was also sacked three times.

Fields, the 11th overall draft pick, was in on five plays. But he made the most of them, completing both of his passes for 10 yards. On his only rushing attempt, he scored from the 3.

Fields got in on the Bears' fourth offensive play and completed a 9-yard pass to Marquise Goodwin to the Rams 3. But Chicago came away empty-handed when Dalton was picked off by David Long Jr. in the end zone.

What's working

David Montgomery ran for 108 yards on 16 carries. That included a 41-yarder on the game's opening possession and a 3-yard touchdown near the end of the first half. 

What needs help

The Bears are counting on a defense that wasn't quite so dominant last season to remain a strength. The Bears got picked apart by Matthew Stafford in his Rams debut to the tune of 321 yards, three touchdowns and a 156.1 rating. They gave up touchdown passes of 67 yards to Van Jefferson and 56 yards to a wide-open Cooper Kupp.

Stock up

Sixth-round draft pick Khalil Herbert made an immediate impact, returning the opening kickoff 50 yards.

Stock down

S Eddie Jackson had a rough opener. The former All-Pro missed several tackles, none more glaring than on Stafford's touchdown to Jefferson early in the game.  

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