Let's get honest with ourselves: The preseason is for overreaction. It's so easy to look at a player, a few quarters of action or a situation and paint it with a "the sky is falling" or a "the road to the Super Bowl is running through Stadium X" brush.
Bears fans who have been around the last 15 years or so now what I'm talking about when we got hyped for players such as Caleb Hanie, Mike Hass, Brandon Rideau and Marcus Freeman. There was also the 2009 preseason slate when the Bears went 3-1 and everyone used that as vindication that Jay Cutler could lead the team to a deep postseason run in his first year in Chicago.
The point is that overreaction one way or the other is very much the flavor of August and September. There are signs though, that perhaps should be paid attention to more in the preseason contests.
For example, last August in the third preseason contest the Bears' starters got shutout 31-0 against the Seattle Seahawks' starters in the first half.
At the time many commenters on here tried to justify it, even while it was happening, with the usual "it's just preseason, they're keeping it simple!" but with the hindsight of a year, it really was a telling game about what to expect from the 2014 Bears. Frankly, if Chicago had played the Seahawks in October last season, would the halftime score have been any different? Heck no.
With that said, tomorrow night's game probably won't have the same sense of foreboding that last season's third game ended up having. This is a different team with different schemes and coaches and a learning curve is expected. If it is a blowout there is reason to be worried but with such low expectations for this season, plus all the injuries the team currently has, it still shouldn't be reason to think the Bears will be in the race for the No. 1 pick next draft.
The injuries though, are my main reason of concern. Consider that Alshon Jeffery has been day to day for over two weeks. The regular season is just 16 days away and Jeffery and Cutler have yet to be on the field in uniform together in a live game situation. Marquess Wilson is going to miss the game with a hamstring injury and those are notorious for lingering. Kevin White is all but done until 2016 and Jeremiah Ratliff, the most experienced player at one of the key 3-4 positions is gone for three games too and his backups have 0 career NFL games under their belt. The offensive tackles have been both injured and terrible.
If the Bears get whipped tomorrow night it won't be for the same reason they were in last year's third preseason game. Last year their health was better but the coaching was way worse and, I believe, the team was already fracturing.
The biggest concern is that if they Bears do get creamed tomorrow it will be more about injuries and there is not going to be enough time to ease the injured players back into lineup and there is going to be a lot of rust and inexperience when Chicago takes the field Sept. 13 against Green Bay.
That could be an ugly recipe.
Time to panic? No. Time to be very concerned. That's how I'll put it.
What's your level of concern heading into tomorrow night's game?