Opinion: Andy Dalton should start for the Bears week one

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Photo by Chicago Bears

Andy Hanrehan, Assistant Sports Editor

Even though it goes against many fans’ wishes, the Bears should start veteran quarterback Andy Dalton against the Los Angeles Rams in week one of the 2021-2022 season.

According to Dalton’s pre-season numbers, he put up 164 yards in 13 pass completions, ending preseason with an 82.2 passer rating, even while playing with the second and third string.

Sure, Justin Fields hasn’t done anything to lose the spot, but neither has Dalton. Starting Justin Fields, a freshly drafted franchise quarterback with little NFL experience, could end badly. On the other hand, Dalton proved in preseason that he is a reliable quarterback who can make the right plays. Matt Nagy, head coach of the Chicago Bears, brought Dalton into the program to become the starting quarterback, and I believe he should stick with that decision.

“We have to see what Andy can do during the season with this team and with these guys,” Nagy said in an Aug. 21 press conference. “That has been our plan this whole entire time.”

Dalton needs to work the first couple of weeks of the season. If he can win a few games towards the beginning, there’s a good chance that Dalton will remain the starting quarterback. However, if Dalton’s performance starts to deteriorate and Fields continues to compete at a high level, Dalton’s age might start catching up to him, and he might have to pass the helm to Fields by week three.

For the time being, Dalton is still a capable, high level quarterback who could remain starting quarterback if he can put the Bears in a good position to make the playoffs. If Dalton can win seven to ten games, it will prove to the front office that he deserves the spot.