For the second straight week the Chicago Bears first-team offense couldn’t find traction, rhythm, or flow during its time on the turf during the preseason. And once again, questions regarding who should start at quarterback in Week 1 began popping up during (and after) the ball game.
But as of now, the status quo remains. Although, it comes with a caveat:
Bears’ HC Matt Nagy reiterated today that Bears’ QB Andy Dalton will start Week 1 at Los Angeles against the Rams, saying: “We need to see him in the regular season.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 21, 2021
Now, whether Nagy is saying this because he means “It’ll get better come Week 1 when the starting lineup is at full strength or “We need to see him in the regular season before we can bench him” remains to be seen. But no matter how you slice it, there is no denying that sound you heard was the greater Chicagoland area asking in unison: Do we, really?
Rhetorical questions aside, let’s be honest with each other about what is happening here. And this should be easy, because it’s the same as it ever was. Andy Dalton will remain the starting quarterback until he shows — in the regular season — that he is no longer capable of being worthy of having that distinction. This has been the plan since the night Justin Fields was chosen in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. It has been the course the Bears have stayed on throughout mini-camp, OTAs, training camp, and now, the preseason. In other words, so long as questions come Matt Nagy’s way about it, he’s simply gonna keep saying it. And then probably do it. Because that is the pattern he has set forth.
Listen … I can hear you gnashing your teeth from where I’m sitting. But hear me out for a moment.
None of this means Dalton will start 17 games. Especially not if he plays as he has in the first two exhibition games. And certainly not if the offense continues to look like it is sleepwalking through the first quarter. Remember, Mitchell Trubisky was the starter early in 2020, only to lose his gig at the first sign of trouble in Week 3. It wouldn’t surprise me to see history repeat itself. But also, that means we’ll need to grind through at least one regular season game.
Should things continue on this track for Dalton and the Bears offense, and still no changes are made, then I’ll be ready with pitchforks and a list of demands. But until then, we wait.