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Bears May as Well Start Nick Foles at This Point

Liam McKeone
Bears quarterbacks
Bears quarterbacks / Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images
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It is nearly impossible for any NFL offense to perform as badly as the Chicago Bears did this past Sunday. Justin Fields, starting his first professional football game, was sacked nine times and had one net passing yard when taking into account all the yards lost due to those sacks. As a whole the team mustered 47 net yards of offense through 60 minutes of football. It was a heinous outing that everybody should be ashamed of, and one that should absolutely call Matt Nagy's job security into question.

However, it is rare an organization cleans house after one bad week, even if it is as brutally bad as this was, and Nagy remains Chicago's head coach. It is as of yet unclear if we're due a repeat performance this Sunday. Andy Dalton is still hurt but has been taking first-team snaps, and Nagy told reporters that if Dalton is healthy, he's going to be out there against the Lions. If he can't go, then presumably it will be Fields again.

I am here to suggest that the Bears should save all of us some misery and just start Nick Foles. Foles is still on the team as the forgotten man in the QB room, acquired before both Dalton and Fields yet was demoted to third-string after training camp. If he's there, Chicago may as well use him because nothing he can do will be worse than what Dalton or Fields will do on Sunday.

If Dalton manages to get clearance from the doctors, it's supremely unlikely he will be 100 percent. A fully-healthy Dalton managed all of 206 yards and an interception against the Rams in the team's opening night loss. What kind of performance would an injured Dalton put out on the field? Probably nothing good!

As for Fields, he may very well prove Nagy right that he's not quite ready for NFL starting duties. The problem is that Nagy doesn't seem particularly interested in changing the offense to suit his strengths. With that in mind, it doesn't matter if Fields is ready or not. No quarterback is going to play well with the head coach calling plays schemed for other signal-callers, as Nagy appeared to do last Sunday. Whatever the answer to the "is Justin Fields ready?" question is, there is nobody on earth who wants to see another performance like the Bears' this past Sunday. It was an offense to the game of football.

Foles cannot possibly play worse than Fields did, and it's a decent bet that the 2021 version of Nick Foles is on the same level as 2021 Andy Dalton with a bone bruise. The only real problem with this suggestion is that starting Foles would be a real self-own by Nagy. He had all of training camp to figure out who was best-suited to lead his team to victory and decided Foles was the clipboard guy who wouldn't see the field if everything went according to plan. To then turn to him while Fields is healthy would be to admit to a mistake in that evaluation to some level, which will not go unnoticed by his bosses even if it's the right decision.

This is really just a plea. A plea for the Bears to do anything to avoid a repeat performance on Sunday. It was a struggle to watch, and we're still in the honeymoon stage of NFL season where most of us are just glad to have football back to the point we'll turn on Jaguars-Bengals tonight and be happy about it. It's hard to make someone regret watching a football game when it's still September, and the Bears did that and more. I had an existential crisis about my football fandom watching Fields get sacked for the seventh time. I can't imagine what it must've done to Bears die-hards.

So please, Matt Nagy. Put us all out of our misery and just start Foles. Exhibit the barest bones of competency. Fields won't be ruined by getting sacked 18 times in his first two starts and Chicago faithful will watch the game without wondering why they're doing this at all. It is a win-win.

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