After more than eight long months, the Chicago Bears finally gave us some actual game play to critique with Saturday’s 23-17 preseason over the Tennessee Titans.
There was a lot to like at Soldier Field, so let’s jump right in …
Justin Fields was perfect — 3 for 3 for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns, even on throws that were behind the line of scrimmage. It’s a great start to the preseason for Fields. He didn’t try to do too much when he was out of the pocket and just dumped it off to Khalil Herbert who took it 56 yards for a touchdown. The back-ups each had 4 completions apiece. P.J.Walker was off the mark on a short throw to Tyler Scott and overshot EQ for the one interception from the group. All in all an excellent start for the most important position on the team.
Running back: A
Catching the ball out of the backfield is something Khalil Herbert has been working on. Same thing for Khari Blasingame. They both had catches including the aforementioned Herbert TD. Providing a security blanket for Fields will be a huge key for the Bears success this season. So far, so good.
Wide receiver/Tight End: B+
DJ Moore going 62 yards on a wide receiver screen was amazing to start the game. That play should have given this group an A, but Tyler Scott had a fumble and a tough drop. The back end of this group all flashed with Nsimba Webster, Isaiah Ford and Daurice Fountain all catching passes 15 yards or more with Ford having the biggest play at 37 yards. Depending on health and special team needs one of those three should make the team.
Offensive line: A
The group have up only two sacks on the day and for the most part the pocket felt clean. Darnell Wright swung himself out and made a sweet block on a Khalil Herbert sweep. Teven Jenkins and Braxton Jones were downfield blocking on the TD catches for Herbert and Moore respectively. Tyson Bagent did take a sack but held onto the football way too long.
Defensive line: A-
Eight sacks! That is a big-time performance that could lead to many wins if somehow that level of play keeps up. Bear in mind that Yannick Ngakoue did not play along with Demarcus Walker. Trevis Gipson did and was, dare I say, dominant. Gipson got a sack and lived in the Titans backfield. And, how about Terell Lewis? The fourth-year player is turning into the biggest surprise on the roster and might make a huge impact which the Bears desperately need. Zacch Pickens had a TFL. Gervon Dexter still needs to get off the ball better but his presence was felt.
Linebacker/ Secondary: B+
No Tremaine Edmunds gave Jack Sanborn and Noah Sewell a chance to play together. Both had their moments and Sanborn was back to his usual self throwing his body around while Sewell got in the backfield to register a TFL. Tyrique Stevenson looked great in the run game and could have had an interception. Kyler Gordon, Spiderman, was out there throwing his body around. Don’t sleep on second-year player A.J.Thomas who has had a solid camp and got himself an interception being in the right place at the right time.
Special Teams: A-
Adam Hoge did not like the hang time on one Trenton GIll punt henceforth the slight ding. But Cairo Santos was 3/3 with a 49-yarder. He also nailed both his extra points as he has all camp long.
Gervon Dexter Sr. got banged up and was left on the field. That knocks the grade down, but other than that it was an excellent day for Matt Eberflus and company. Luke Getsy got Justin Fields off to a good start with his playcalling. I like that Fields played two series even with the Bears scoring a TD on their first possession. The team was ready to play, hitting all day like it was a regular season game.
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