The Chicago Bears kicked off their preseason schedule with a 22-0 loss against the Denver Broncos. Needless to say, there’s a lot to discuss about the game.
The football season officially started on Thursday for the Chicago Bears. In front of a near sell-out crowd, the Bears were shut out by the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos 22-0. Both teams’ starters, as expected, played a limited number of snaps before handing it off to the backups for the rest of the game.
The Bears came out of the game relatively healthy. Running back Ka’Deem Carey and defensive lineman Cornelius Washington both left the game and did not return, but other than that, it appears the team came away pretty much unscathed.
It was a good first test for John Fox’s team, as the Broncos are a team full of superstars and possess a great deal of quality depth.
There wasn’t too much that went right for the Bears, but it’s important to remember that it is just one preseason game, and there is still a month to go before the season kicks off.
With that being said, here are a few things that stood out from the first “game” of the season:
- Kevin White’s first game was pretty much uneventful. Making his NFL debut after missing all of last season with a leg injury, the seventh-overall pick in 2015 hauled in only one catch for three yards, yet he showed his quickness and burst, and thankfully, came out healthy.
- Jay Cutler (3-4, 18 yards) was under pressure in all three series that he played in. He was sacked twice and failed to get into any kind of rhythm. He did, however, have a nice 12-yard completion to Alshon Jeffery on the first drive.
- The running back by committee approach is still a question mark. Jeremy Langford (4 att, 7 yards) took all the snaps with the first team, while it was Jacquizz Rodgers (2 att, 5 yards), not Carey, who ran with the second-string. No running back really impressed, as the team combined for just 48 yards on 17 attempts.
- The offensive line was a mess. The starters allowed two sacks, while the backups allowed five, including a safety. Veteran Ted Larsen, who started for the injured Hroniss Grasu, was solid, but there was miscommunication along the line during the entire game. It’s quite apparent that the Bears are not deep along the offensive line, and one more injury could be crippling.
- The Cody Whitehair experiment at center could be over. After starting the game at left guard, Whitehair shifted over to the center position, where he then went on to commit two penalties and had trouble with a few snaps.
- There were a ton of eyes on rookie first-round pick Leonard Floyd in this game, and he didn’t disappoint. Floyd, whose speed and quick first step catapulted him up the draft boards, played into the third quarter and finished with two tackles. He displayed excellent burst, drew a holding penalty, and showed the versatility to line up in both a two and three-point stance. All he has to do now is finish plays.
- The depth of the front seven really showed up, as Willie Young had a knockdown and a couple of pressures, rookie Jonathan Bullard had a tackle for loss, and third-stringer Ego Ferguson showed up in the fourth quarter.
- The competition between safeties Harold Jones-Quartey and rookie Deon Bush should continue for another week, as neither did much to separate himself from the other.
- Special teams was a disaster the past couple of seasons, and the performance against Denver didn’t do much to erase the doubts. The team did nothing in the return game, rookie DeAndre Houston-Carson was beat inside for a blocked punt, and there were penalties galore. On a positive note, Chris Prosinski blocked a field goal attempt, and the Broncos missed another attempt.
- Cornelius Washington had a fantastic game before he left with a leg injury. He had three tackles, a tackle for loss, and a sack. He was arguably the player of the game.
- Rookie Deiondre Hall also had a nice game. He broke up consecutive passes in the end zone and used his 6’2″ frame to perfection.
- On the other hand, slot corner Bryce Callahan has some work to do. While he did tip a pass that led to a Jerrell Freeman interception, Callahan was burned badly on a 32-yard touchdown in the first quarter. He was nearly ten yards away from the receiver.
The Bears will try for better results in their next preseason game on Thursday, August 18th against the New England Patriots. The two teams will practice together in Foxborough on August 15th and 16th.