The Chicago Bears are set to kickoff the 2021 NFL season in prime time as they travel to Los Angeles to take on the Rams on Sunday Night Football. The Rams are opening up their new stadium to the fans for the first time here in 2021.
Chicago has already made their plans at quarterback with Andy Dalton being named the starter over Justin Fields. But how long will Dalton last? No matter what happens this season, the main storyline for the Bears will be the development of Fields and his importance to the future of the franchise. While Dalton is the starter, it’s unknown how long his leash actually will be.
Last season, Matt Nagy didn’t hesitate to pull Mitch Trubisky in Week 3 to go to Nick Foles. While the veteran helped the Bears win that game and a Week 5 thriller against Tampa Bay, both quarterbacks struggled and Nagy’s offense just wasn’t good. But for Fields, he has the chance to change everything and become a star in Chicago. It’s just a matter of when he will takeover that is the question.
Even Nagy knows there is excitement around the former Ohio State product:
“We all understand the passion and the excitement that we want to see from Justin and I think probably the biggest thing is for myself, our coaching staff, Ryan, everybody included, when we get together and talk about what our plan looks like, and we play out scenarios. Sometimes you can get caught up in emotional decisions, and so I think that’s where I have to be really strong there and understand the why. If you just keep it super simple and you don’t overthink it and you keep it simple as to why things are the way they are, then it will all take care of itself. So I do understand all that. I think all of our players, if we’re being completely honest, I think everybody understands that part of where we’re at. We’ve just got to understand the why behind it all.”
While Nagy knows he has a potential star quarterback, the Bears defense really could be the biggest key this season. They are an aging defense but still has firepower on their roster including Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson, Roquan Smith, and Akiem Hicks leading the way.
But if the defense struggles it’s tough to imagine exactly how this team would look like.
That would also put a damper on those who are looking to bet big on the Bears this season, with Illinois gambling taking off. Since it’s legalization in 2020, sports betting in Illinois keeps increasing in popularity and the market continues to develop, with new sportsbooks launching and regulations shifting frequently, so you can keep track in all these changes at SportsBettingDime.com
Chicago does have a favorable schedule to start the year before things get tougher later on. But if they really want to be a true playoff contender, making the switch to Fields sooner than later could do the trick.