If last night’s game had counted, it would have been a disappointment: Fast start, early scores, then stalling out and a come back by the team followed by a too-little-too-late surge by the Bears to end the game.
Since the game didn’t count though, it was almost fun.
In any event it was much better than last week. The team showed signs of life, the run game was a little better, the pass game was working, the defense got a turnover. It’s almost enough to say that things are looking up for the team.
Here are two winners and two losers from last night’s game:
-Brian Hoyer: Hoyer threw an ugly interception for the second-straight week and finished 4-of-14 playing against the Patriots starts but also a good amount of their back ups later in the game. Hoyer is still an upgrade over Jimmy Clausen but so far in the games, he’s not quite looking the part. No team wants to see their back up starting but a guy that’s been in the league as long as Hoyer should be able to light up second-string players. Connor Shaw was able to be quite efficient against the back-end guys and even led a nice TD drive at the end of the game.
-Bobby Massie pass-protection: From the day Massie was signed by the Bears, the word was he was fine in the run game but his pass-pro needed work. Two games into the preseason that seems to be the case. Massie did fine in the run game last night but was pushed around by Chris Long often, including on the lone sack of Jay Cutler when he was pushed back, Cutler moved up to avoid Long and was taken down by Tre Flowers and Anthony Johnson.
-Chicago’s run game: Bears ‘backs averaged 4.3 yards per carry last night on their 26 attempts, including 101 yards from Jeremy Langford and Jordan Howard. The performance was much better than last week and really showed that the Bears might be making strides. The team wants to be ground-and-pound and last night will go a long way to establishing that.
-Dowell Loggains: The Bears offensive coordinator had a very solid night. The starting unit dominated the first quarter with long drives and a nice mix of runs and passes, even getting in some play action. While there weren’t many shots downfield, it was overall a very nice game plan. While the offense did stall with the second unit, the Bears’ depth issues are going to be a problem all season so it shouldn’t surprise too many people. The end of the game sequence was nice too; Connor Shaw getting a chance to lead the team down in a “pressure” situation. All-in-all a good game for a coordinator who has faced plenty of scrutiny during the offseason.
Who were your winners and losers from last night?