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Justin Fields Named Week 3 Starter: What to Expect in the Rookie’s First NFL Start

Chicago Bears have named Justin Fields the starter week 3. Can he outperform Andy Dalton and keep the starting spot?

Justin Fields has seen some action in both games as a rookie but was just named the starter for Week 3 against the Browns. He really only ran the ball week one against the Rams but he had 13 pass attempts in week 2 against the Bengals when Andy Dalton went down.

Reviewing the Bengals game, the Bengals played a lot of man coverage, and the Bears struggled with it. The receivers had trouble getting separation and the play calling was nothing short of abysmal.  Nagy showed no creativity when Fields got in the game, which hopefully will change this week against a much better Browns defense.

On the defensive side, I would expect to see a lot of man coverage paired with exotic blitz packages. Fields was tricked into an interception by linebacker Logan Wilson against the Bengals by showing cover 0 (all-out blitz) and dropping underneath the shallow receiver. There were several clips against Cincy that showed Fields didn’t totally trust his receivers. You can see him choking the ball or taking an extra hitch waiting for them to get open, rather than throwing them open and trusting them to get it. The Bears don’t have the best playmakers in the league, but they certainly have some solid options with Robinson and Mooney on the outside. As the Browns Defensive coordinator, I would play press man, disrupt the timing of Fields, and make him hold the ball or throw into tight contested windows. I think rookie Jeremiah Owusu Koramoah can have a huge role this week as well. His speed from the linebacker position is significant enough to spy Fields, to make it safer to play man coverage. The Browns pass rush should be good enough with 4, but occasionally I would throw in a blitz.

On offense, I hope Nagy gets more creative, because with a QB like Fields, there is so much that you can do. The run game needs to be effective to take the pressure of Fields and stay in 2nd and 3rd and manageable. If it is 2nd or 3rd and long, Garrett can tee off on Fields and the Bears are going to be in trouble. Robinson is likely going to be followed by Denzel Ward if the Browns elect to play man, so I would like to see Mooney in the slot. Nagy needs to move Mooney around both outside and in the slot, motion him, stack him behind Robinson or Graham. He needs to be a huge piece of the game plan this week. He should also be used running crossers and options. Use his speed and versatility to your advantage.

Nagy is certainly not known for his creativity, but he has a great opportunity Sunday with an incredibly talented young quarterback. The run game and pass game can be very diverse. The biggest key is: LET JUSTIN FIELDS MAKE PLAYS! Nagy basically hand cuffed Fields against the Bengals with his piss-poor play calling, but you need to let an athlete of his caliber go make plays. You took him at 11 for a reason, now go let him make you look good.

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