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Justin Fields impresses through air, on ground in Week 1 of NFL preseason vs. Dolphins

Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields had a solid debut in Week 1 of the NFL preseason. We recap his performance.

Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears looks for a receiver under pressure from the Miami Dolphins during a preseason game at Soldier Field on August 14, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears opened up the 2021 NFL preseason against the Miami Dolphins Saturday afternoon at Soldier Field. All of the attention heading into the game was on Chicago rookie quarterback Justin Fields.

Fields has been performing well in training camp this summer, but will not be the starter for the time being. That moniker goes to veteran quarterback Andy Dalton, who only played two series in the first quarter.

Stats

Fields played well into the third quarter on Saturday, completing 14-of-20 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown. The rookie quarterback also had five rushing attempts, scrambling for 33 yards and a touchdown. He did have one on third down in the second quarter, where he went into a spin move and fumbled the ball. However, Fields was able to recover the football.

Analysis

After a rough couple of drives in the second quarter, Fields ended the first half strong as he led the Bears on a scoring drive. The rookie quarterback took what was available to him and moved the pocket to make throws on the run. To open up third quarter, Fields looked much more comfortable as he found Riley Ridley for 17-yards on a rollout.

Then a couple of plays later, Fields threw the ball down the field to wide receiver Rodney Adams for a huge 25-yard game. The rookie quarterback put the football, where only his wide out could get it.

Fields’ ability to improvise out of the pocket and being able to throw on the run with accuracy will help him throughout his career. He showed on Saturday that he can beat teams with his arm and his mobility. The latter is also good because he’s a pass-first, run-second quarterback and will help out the Bears’ offense.

One drive later, Fields added a second straight touchdown, finding tight end Jesse James wide open on a beautifully designed play-action call. The fake sent Dolphins defenders crashing to the right and leaving James wide open. It was an easy play for Fields, but any connection is a good one for a rookie trying to build some momentum.

Fantasy implications

Andy Dalton is currently the starter, but it would not be a surprise to see Fields take the starting job sometime during the regular season. He cannot only beat teams with his arm, but also on the ground. Whenever he does play in the regular season, best believe, he’ll be the first quarterback picked up off the waiver wire.