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Bears vs Lions: Week 4 NFL preview

Bears vs Lions preview

The Chicago Bears made the Super Bowl Shuffle famous. Right now, they’re known more for their quarterback shuffle.

Will it be Andy Dalton, Justin Fields or Nick Foles behind center when they host the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Moreover, will it matter?

The Bears’ offense is a mess and head coach Matt Nagy is under heavy fire from critics about his handling of the situation and the team’s play-calling. Speaking to reporters this week, Nagy sounded like a coach who knows he needs a quick turnaround to hold onto his job.

Related: NFL Week 4 power rankings

“I’m about solutions. I’m not about negativity,” Nagy said. “I’m not about anything but trying to do what’s best for the Bears at anything. … Darn right, it has not been easy. It’s been hard but when I signed up for this job I knew there would be times I’d go through this kind of stuff. And now I’m getting tested to see where I’m at with this.”

Bears vs Lions: Matt Nagy reveals QB depth chart

bears vs lions preview: justin fields
Sep 26, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) throws the ball against the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Nagy hinted that he’d go with the veteran Dalton if his balky knee is good enough to play on. Dalton was limited in practice on Wednesday.

“Andy’s the 1, Justin’s the 2 and Nick is the 3,” Nagy said of the depth chart. “The starter will be sorted out once we have a clearer picture.”

Fields, the team’s top draft pick, flopped in his first start with Dalton sidelined on Sunday. He completed only six of 20 pass attempts and was sacked nine times in a 26-6 loss to Cleveland.

“He’s going to have a lot of different games in his career,” Nagy said. “That one was a rough one. I put that on me. That’s on me for why it went that way and I’ve got to learn from that. We’ve got to learn from that. But I think we have some answers.”

One thing Chicago (1-2) has that the Lions don’t is a victory. Dan Campbell is still looking for his first head coaching win after Detroit (0-3) suffered a gut-wrenching 19-17 loss to Baltimore. Justin Tucker kicked an NFL record 66-yard field goal that bounced on and over the crossbar on the final play.

Campbell hasn’t seen signs of despair from the team in subsequent meetings and practices.

Bears vs Lions: Dan Campbell’s squad playing competitive football

bears vs lions preview
Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell watches practice during training camp at the team’s facility in Allen Park, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021 (: Junfu Han via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

“Any time you lose, it doesn’t feel good but I feel like we’ve got the right guys on this team, I really do,” he said. “With what we showed on Sunday and what this team was capable of doing, even though we didn’t win, I felt like it really told a lot about who we are and what we’re made up of. Just watching these guys come in and looking in their eyes, they’re ready to go. I think they’re pretty resilient.”

The Lions made an eye-opening move, cutting linebacker Jamie Collins when they were unable to trade him. Detroit’s defense showed some improvement against the Ravens, as Baltimore converted just one of 10 first downs.

Not knowing who will start at quarterback for the Bears makes for extra prep work, but Campbell says it’s no big deal. Most likely, it will be either Dalton or Fields.

“There’s some things we’ve got to prepare for,” Campbell said. “That’s all right. We’ll be ready for both.”

There’s no quarterback controversy in Detroit. Jared Goff has completed 69.9 percent of his attempts but didn’t throw a touchdown pass last week.

He’ll try to get tight end T.J. Hockenson more involved after Hockenson caught just two passes for 10 yards.

Chicago’s star linebacker Khalil Mack did not practice on Wednesday due to a foot injury. Lions linebacker Trey Flowers (shoulder, knee) also missed practice.

–Field Level Media