Chicago Bears win home opener 20-17 as rookie QB Justin Fields takes over for an injured Andy Dalton

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CHICAGO — The Justin Fields era for the Chicago Bears arrived earlier than expected Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.

After starting quarterback Andy Dalton injured his knee while scrambling out of bounds in the second quarter, Fields played the entire second half of a 20-17 Bears victory.

Fields didn’t lead a touchdown drive while completing 6 of 13 passes for 60 yards and throwing a fourth-quarter interception. But the Bears defense helped the rookie complete his first NFL victory.

The Bears had four takeaways, including Roquan Smith’s 53-yard interception return for a touchdown, to shed the bad taste from the season-opening performance against the Los Angeles Rams.

That was the first of three interceptions on three straight drives against Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. Cornerback Jaylon Johnson followed with his first career interception, and defensive lineman Angelo Blackson picked off Burrow with help from inside linebacker Alec Ogletree’s pressure.

Earlier in the game, safety Eddie Jackson forced a fumble that safety Tashaun Gipson recovered.

The Bears also sacked Burrow four times.

Dalton, who spent the second half on the sideline, led a scoring drive to open the game, hitting Allen Robinson with an 11-yard touchdown pass.

The Bears offense didn’t find the end zone again, and Fields made a mistake late to make the game closer than the Bears probably wanted.

With 3:50 to play, he threw an interception at the Bears’ 25-yard line, and the Bengals capitalized with a touchdown to pull within three points. But the Bears did just enough on their final drive to run out the clock for the victory.

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