Scouting ahead to the Cleveland Browns Week 3 matchup against the Chicago Bears, led by rookie quarterback Justin Fields in his first-ever NFL start.
Week 2 was a potential trap game avoided by the Cleveland Browns, but only just. Aided by the second-half absence of Tyrod Taylor, who was playing lights out, the Browns bested the Texans after a rough start to the game.
They overcame turnovers and an injury to Jarvis Landry to get their first win of the season, but they will want to learn from their mistakes and better prepare themselves for the season ahead to avoid slow starts turning into bad losses.
Their opponent in Week 3 will be tougher defensively, and more unpredictable defensively. The Chicago Bears held off a late surge by Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals to get their first win of the season but lost their starter, Andy Dalton, to a knee injury in the process.
The expectation now is that 2021 first-round draft pick Justin Fields will make his first start at First Energy Stadium. Fields was given a rough introduction against the Bengals, but did enough to secure the win, and with a week to prepare for the Browns he should be more comfortable taking his first shot in the big leagues.
Here are the big points going into the Browns vs. Bears in Week 3.
Justin Fields will be the story
In Week 1 it was all about the AFC Divisional round rematch against the budding dynasty Kansas City Chiefs. In Week 2 it was about getting back on track and overcoming the absence of both Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry against a trickier than expected Texans team.
Week 3 should finally shift the focus to the Browns opponent as the Chicago Bears debut the player they traded up for in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Fields was great in his two years starting at Ohio State, losing only twice, once in the CFP Semi-Final and once in the CFP National Championship game.
In his crash course debut last week, Fields did throw an interception late, though it’s debatable whose fault it was, and Fields did enough to seal the win after a late push by the Bengals. He has all the tools to come in and succeed as a quarterback, and probably offers more of a threat than Andy Dalton would on Sunday. The Browns defense needs to be careful in their game-planning for him, and make sure that the story of Fields’ debut is a disappointing one for the Bears.