SEATTLE — In the Bears’ first road game of the year, the Chicago Bears dominated the Seattle Seahawks, 27-11, to improve to 2-0 in the preseason.
The offense scored on two of its first three drives and the defense held the Seahawks scoreless for the entire first half.
Here is what we learned from Thursday night’s blowout victory against the Seahawks.
- Screens and play action
The first-team unit had a better outing with their only opportunity in Thursday night’s victory over the Seahawks than the Week 1 matchup against the Chiefs. On the 10-play, 52-yard drive that ended in a Cairo Santos 35-yard field goal, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy utilized the screen game and moved the pocket with play action.
To start the game, Getsy called a screen for Kmet and Larry Borom and Sam Mustipher got out in front to help the tight end gain 12 yards. Later in the drive, Darnell Mooney caught a screen pass and had Equanimeous St. Brown blocking for him. Mooney picked up six yards.
Throughout training camp and especially this week, the Bears have been emphasizing moving the pocket. The biggest play of the drive came off of play action. Fields hit Kmet in stride as Fields was rolling to his right.
With the offense closer to full strength, the Bears clearly wanted to utilize their top playmakers against the Seahawks and did so with play designs that focus on getting their pass catchers the ball in space.
- Teven Jenkins is the front runner at right guard
Fields was under more pressure than the Bears would probably like in the opening drive of the game. There were a few snaps where Jenkins lost his footing in pass protection, but overall the former second-round draft pick played well.
After the opening drive, Jenkins settled in and improved for the final two drives. In total, he played 24 offensive snaps. On two of the three drives Jenkins was in, the Bears came away with points.
There were several plays where Jenkins showcased some second effort, especially on run plays. On a first-and-10 from the Seattle 20, Jenkins blocked the defensive tackle at the line of scrimmage, but he kept his feet moving and drove the defensive lineman back – helping running Darryton Evans get a six-yard gain.
Once Jenkins’ day was done, Michael Schofield entered the game with the second unit. A good sign for Jenkins as he makes his ascension to become a part of the starting offense.
After Thursday’s game and this week of practice, it appears the right guard position is Jenkins’ to lose.
- Kyler Gordon played exclusively at nickel
For Gordon’s debut, he saw all of his action in the slot. In front of family and friends, 12 in attendance, defensive coordinator Alan Wiliams had Gordon play to his strengths.
On a first-and-10 play late in the first quarter, Gordon blitzed off the right edge and forced quarterback Geno Smith out of the pocket. Smith had no choice but to throw the ball out of bounds as Gordon and Nicholas Morrow were closing on the quarterback. Gordon also attempted a “Peanut Punch” on third-and-20 as the ball carrier was trying to pick up extra yard.
Although Gordon played primarily in the slot, Eberflus left the door open to him playing on the outside at some point.
“Yeah, we’re going to look at both things,” Eberflus said. “We’ll look at both things, putting him on the outside and still keeping him on the inside. We really like him on the inside, but certainly he is going to play on outside too.”
Now, it wasn’t all good for the young cornerback in his first game. On one of the few positive plays for the Seahawks’ offense, Gordon and Angelo Blackson missed an open tackle on running back Travis Homer, who gained 33 yards on first down early in the second quarter.
On a fourth-and-2 play from the Chicago 34, Gordon lined up one on one against wide receiver Cade Johnson in the slot. The receiver ran a slant route, created separation on Gordon and caught the pass. However, the play was called back because of a Seahawks penalty.
In his debut game, Gordon showed the quick twitch and athleticism that earned him the No. 39 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
- Missed opportunity to challenge
The preseason is obviously a good opportunity for players to get reps but also for coaches. Eberflus challenged his first play as a head coach against the Chiefs and was successful. The first-time head coach would’ve won his second, but he never threw the flag.
On a third-and-8 from the Chicago 33, the snap nearly went over Trevor Siemian’s head, but somehow he kept the play alive. Before Siemian was hit, he heaved a pass to Isaiah Coulter along the right sideline. The play was set to fail from the beginning but somehow the ball made it to Coulter.
Eberflus, though, didn’t attempt to challenge the call. Instead, Sieman’s and Coulter’s efforts were wasted and the Bears elected to punt. Eberflus did explain why he didn’t challenge the call after the game.
“So on that one, that’s a good question because a couple of coaches on the sideline thought it bounced on the ground,” Eberflus said. “We got one good look upstairs and that was it, so we didn’t have a second look at it. So we just decided to let it go. In real time, in a real game maybe I would have thrown it in there, but we didn’t have a second look.”
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