Lincicome: Will Bears start the QB who gives them a chance to win Thursday ... or Fields?

  • Bears quarterback Andy Dalton throws a touchdown pass to Darnell Mooney during the second half against Baltimore Sunday at Soldier Field.

    Bears quarterback Andy Dalton throws a touchdown pass to Darnell Mooney during the second half against Baltimore Sunday at Soldier Field. Associated Press

Updated 11/22/2021 10:12 AM

There are many turkey jokes to be made about the Bears and the Lions on Thanksgiving, but I am not going to do that. I prefer to think of each as the cranberry sauce of the meal, traditional but easily ignored.

Thanks, NFL, for not interrupting the holiday. Now, pass the gravy.


To mix a metaphor even further, the teams are the two saddest sacks in the NFL with two of the worst rated quarterbacks, provided Justin Fields plays against Jared Goff, while it is uncertain either one will.

If you ask the Lions they would likely say, like young Oliver, "Please, sir, may we have more Justin."

Not that it matters for either side. Each team treats offense like a hound treats a hydrant. The hapless versus the helpless. Is this the bottom or are my shoes just untied? (See, turkey jokes are unnecessary.)

Playing for the future hurts the present, and here the Bears are, five losses in a row, two of them in the last minute, with a record of 3-7, once again vowing to look in the mirror and see what can be done about it.

"We need to see who we really are," said Bears linebacker Robert Quinn, who seems always to take these defeats harder than anyone else.

This sort of examination is, of course, the business of the head coach, Matt Nagy, for whom some regard is due. He told us that Andy Dalton was a better quarterback than Justin Fields, and it took Dalton just two plays to show again that he is the cheese and Fields is the chalk.

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"Justin's played his tail off," said Nagy, not for the first time. How many tails does Fields have?

"Justin's done everything we've asked of him," Nagy said. There's the problem. He's been asking the wrong quarterback.

How many winning games have been wasted on Fields is uncertain, maybe none, maybe the Bears are what their records says they are. But I can see 3-7 being 6-4 with Dalton. Or even with Nick Foles. David Montgomery is a force and the defense is as good as any.

When the third best quarterback on your roster is your starter, the one you stick to through thin and thin, and you are the coach, you are either scared or submissive.

"We care a lot," Nagy said. "We want to do everything we can to win."

You have to look to make sure Ryan Pace's hand isn't up the back of Nagy's shirt pulling the levers connected to his lips because Nagy cannot possibly believe that.


What the Bears -- the owners and deciders, not the players -- have determined is winning does not matter. What matters is the Farce of Fields, the fixed determination to make a quarterback out of a sow's ear.

Each tiny step forward by Fields is inevitably followed by two steps back. The quarter and a half he played against the Ravens was a copy of most of the other quarters he has played, and most likely a copy of quarters to come.

There is a way out for Nagy and Pace, if they want to keep their jobs. Don't play Fields any more this season. Sorry it didn't work out boss. He played his tail off. We'll grow him a new one next season.

Injury is a handy excuse to just put Fields aside, assign him homework, study film, read defenses on his I-Pad on the sidelines the way real quarterbacks do between shifts instead of hanging his thumbs on the neck of his shoulder pads.

If Fields does not play again this season the Farce stays alive, the promise is still plausible and there is a whole offseason of photo ops to prove what Fields disproves every time he has to display his inadequacy in actual games.

Yep. He sure looked good in those OTAs. He's coming along nicely.

As for the remaining season for the Bears, the players are owed the best chance they have to win, and they should win on Thursday, especially if Dalton is the quarterback.

Every player is playing for his future, if not with the Bears with some other team. The only one who is not is Fields.

"We have to give people something to cheer about," Quinn said.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Poor players who strut and fret ... and so forth.

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