Andy Dalton #14 of the Chicago Bears. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP
Providing Andy Dalton starts the game he will be facing the team he spent most of his career, will he provide the Bengals their first loss of the year or will Cincinnati get the win?
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Chicago Bears
Sunday, September 19, 2021 – 01:00 PM EDT at Soldier Field
So, Will Dalton Start?
That is the important question here, to put it very nicely it wasn’t the best performance from Dalton on Sunday night against the Rams. As his team lost the game, he finished with 206 yards and zero TDs. He threw more than 10 yards down field twice for a total of 21 yards.
There was much clamor for Justin Fields, a rookie quarterback, to start the game. Matt Nagy will be asked many questions all week about who will start in this game. I wrote earlier in the summer about the decision of Dalton or Fields and while I’m one of the few who likes Andy Dalton, I do feel they’d be better with Fields in there.
Fields was present for a few plays this week, including when they reached the redzone after Dalton’s tipped interception. He also rushed in a score on his first drive, which was the same as his 19 rush TDs and 67 TD passes in college. Should he be brought in, it will certainly make the Bears much more enjoyable to watch.
Dalton will probably start, while Fields will be more involved in the next few weeks.
How did the Bengals win a game?
The Bengals won a tough overtime victory against their NFC North rivals, Bears at Paul Brown Stadium. It started slowly as you’d expect with the QB having his first meaningful snaps in almost a year but Joe Burrow settled in and despite taking a few sacks found his step in the end.
It helps that Ja’marr Chase put behind him the drops from preseason and had a brilliant debut game finishing with just over 100 yards and a TD from a play reminiscent of their time at LSU in college. I thought when the games got real he’d be able to step up and it showed.
Joe Mixon had a big game on the ground, with a rebuilt offensive line that he ran all night for 127 yards. It seems that the decision to bring back the offensive coach from the AFC’s leading year is paying off early in the season.
It should be noted that the Vikings were penalized many, many times for holding in the first half, so while the stat sheet doesn’t credit the Bengals defense for many sacks or pressures, it was due largely to their players being fouled every time they looked like they were going to hit Kirk Cousins.
Joe Burrow #9 from the Cincinnati Bengals. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP
How Does This One Play Out?
Luckily for the Bears the whole of the NFC North lost last week so they didn’t lose any ground and got one of the tougher games on their schedule out of the way. They will benefit from their return to Soldier Field, which will be rocking with thousands of fans for the first time since 2012.
The Bengals appear to have found a way of creating pressure, so it is possible that Bears players could find themselves under pressure. Fields could be brought in sooner than expected, as his mobility and speed would keep the chain moving and slow down the rush.
Although it is hard to handicap this game due to the question marks surrounding how much Dalton plays, I believe it will be run-heavy from both teams with Montgomery/Mixon getting a lot. That could lead to a quick game.
NFL Pick: Under 45.5 (-108) with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.
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