This You Gotta See: Justin Fields’ first start; Sky-Lynx showdown; Hawks’ preseason debut
Bears fans should prepare themselves for the possibility that Sunday’s game in Cleveland won’t be a smash success.
Not to throw a wet blanket over Justin Fields’ first NFL start before he even has a chance to make miracles happen, but prepare yourselves for the possibility that it won’t go so well.
Storybook beginnings don’t always happen for these can’t-miss first-round quarterbacks. Jaguars No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence debuted with three interceptions in a lopsided loss to the Texans. Jets No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson was intercepted once and sacked six times in an unsightly affair — also a loss — against the Chargers.
The Bengals’ Joe Burrow, the No. 1 pick in 2020, led a single touchdown drive in his first start, a loss to the Chargers. San Diego first-rounder Justin Herbert didn’t start that game but was pressed into starting duty — and played wonderfully — a week later. Alas, he took an “L,” too.
Fellow first-rounder Tua Tagovailoa’s first start didn’t come until November last season, but his Dolphins beat the Rams. Tagovailoa was strip-sacked by Aaron Donald on his first drop-back, though, and finished with a whopping 93 yards passing.
Fields might end up being a great one. He might even start out a really good one. Tom Brady didn’t, on the other hand; he was sacked on the first play of his first career start in 2001. OK, so his Patriots ended up beating Peyton Manning’s Colts by 31 points to get to 1-2 that day and — wouldn’t you know it? — went on to win the Super Bowl.
Anything’s possible, right? Here’s what’s happening:
Ryder Cup, Day 3 (11 a.m., Ch. 5, Peacock)
The Dustin Johnson-led Americans are blowing the doors off Team Europe so far. Why doesn’t this happen more often?
Bears at Browns (noon, Fox-32)
Obsess over Fields’ every move if you must — and let’s face it, you must — but the Browns have rushed for seven touchdowns in two games. That seems like kind of a big deal, too.
Dolphins at Raiders (3 p.m., Ch. 2)
Tagovailoa is out with an injury, and Jacoby Brissett is in. Good luck keeping up with a Raiders offense that smoked the Ravens’ and Steelers’ defenses and ranks No. 1 in the league.
Buccaneers at Rams (3:25 p.m., Fox-32)
Brady has thrown nine touchdown passes already, which puts him on pace for 72 — also the age at which he’ll retire.
Sky at Lynx (4 p.m., ESPN2)
The Lynx finished the regular season on a 9-1 tear and haven’t been beaten by anyone other than the powerhouse Aces or Sun since mid-June. Your move, Candace Parker.
Packers at 49ers (7:20 p.m., Ch. 5, Peacock)
Green Bay scored three points in Week 1 and 35 in Week 2. Will the real Packers offense stand up? And is Aaron Rodgers serious about that hair?
White Sox at Tigers (12:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
What’s better than playing a meaningless game in Detroit on what was supposed to be a day off?
Eagles at Cowboys (7:15 p.m., ESPN)
The NFC East is NFC East-ing again, with no team better than 1-1 heading into Week 3. The weird thing is one of these squads is about to have a winning record.
Reds at White Sox (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
The Sox don’t need this one, but at least they’re in a fine mood. The Reds are moping around after seeing their wild-card hopes get buzz-sawed to death by the insanely hot Cardinals.
Cubs at Pirates (5:35 p.m., Marquee)
Somebody will win, and somebody will lose. Look, we’re bound by law to include at least one Cubs game in this column.
Red Wings at Blackhawks (7:30 p.m., NBCSCH+)
An Original Six rivalry. Pure, unadulterated hatred. Hide the women and children. Or maybe it’s just the preseason opener.
Jaguars at Bengals (7:20 p.m., NFL)
The last time these hotshot QBs opposed each other, Burrow and LSU walloped Lawrence and Clemson in the College Football Playoff. That means absolutely nothing here, but it’s fun to remember.
Iowa at Maryland (7 p.m., FS1)
Are the 4-0 Hawkeyes a legit top-five team nationally? If they are, whippersnapper coach Kirk Ferentz might last a while.
Michigan at Wisconsin (11 a.m., Fox-32)
Man, Wisconsin’s offense is a mess. Put it this way: Blink and you might miss a Wolverines pick-six.
Cincinnati at Notre Dame (1:30 p.m., Ch. 5)
Brian Kelly faces the school that really launched his career — and has a very real chance to end his unbeaten season with the Irish.
Northwestern at Nebraska (6:30 p.m., BTN)
Pat Fitzgerald is 5-5 against the Huskers. He outlasted Bo Pelini and Mike Riley. Want to bet he’ll outlast Scott Frost, too?