Boomer Esiason Weighs in on Justin Fields vs. Andy Dalton for Bears

Justin Fields was overmatched in Week 3.
Justin Fields was overmatched in Week 3. / Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields struggled mightily in his first start of his career against the Cleveland Browns in Week 3, and that has put everything on the table for head coach Matt Nagy at quarterback. 

While Andy Dalton is still dealing with the same injury that kept him out in Week 3, Nagy is considering all three quarterbacks, Dalton, Field and Nick Foles as potential options in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions. 

Fields completed just six of 20 passes against the Browns for 68 yards and took nine sacks. The Bears were dominated in the game and finished with just one net passing yard. Not great. 

Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason weighed in on the Fields debate in Chicago, and while his thoughts may not resonate with Bears fans, Esiason does have a point. 

“The kid, he is just not ready, especially when you play on the road against a good defense,” Esiason said on the Parkins & Spiegel Show on Monday. “We can sit here and discuss the offensive line. We can discuss the running back. We can discuss the game plan and how you want to tailor it to the quarterback. But if the quarterback’s not ready and the quarterback is incapable of handling it, you’re going to have exactly what you saw (Sunday).

“Not everybody can be ready. I’m going to blame the pressure that has been put on the Chicago Bears front office to play a kid that’s obviously not ready to step on an NFL football field. And I pray to god he doesn’t get hurt. And Danny (Parkins), I think you’re part of that pressure because I think you echo the fan base. You want to see Justin Fields. Because you know the kid can be great. But he has to know what he’s doing before he can be great. 

“And what we saw (Sunday) against a really good defense was really a disaster of epic proportions. I mean, the other rookie quarterbacks all struggled (Sunday), but not like Justin did. So I just think he needs to go to the bench, he needs to practice. They need to develop him. And maybe, just maybe in Week 10, Week 11, Week 12, maybe by then he’ll understand some of the concepts that are in that offensive game plan. And he will not be the reason that they lose. He’ll be the reason that they win. Because right now, he is clearly not ready.”

Nagy and the Bears have received a lot of pressure to start Fields, but if he isn’t ready to handle the NFL yet, there’s a reason Dalton is there. The problem is the Bears have wasted years of a great defense with below average quarterback play, so there’s going to be a demand to win now, and many people believe that Fields is the best option to get that done. 

Fields’ odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year at WynnBET took a dive to +750 after his Week 3 performance, and they’d likely fall even more if he’s moved to the bench again in favor of Foles or Dalton. 

The Bears are 2.5-point home favorites against Detroit in Week 4.

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