Yesterday the Bears announced they would not be playing their starters. I understood the reasoning, but my enthusiasm for this game was deflated. With my expectations low, this game over-delivered.
Sometimes it’s fun to watch your favorite team dominate. Sometimes it’s even more fun when you know it’s the backups playing against starters. And sometimes you can’t help grinning thinking about your team’s new coach sticking it to his former team by dominating them by every important standard with said backups.
And considering the bevy of injuries the Bears find a way to suffer every year, it’s extremely encouraging to see that the backups can execute at a competent level.
Full box score can be found here.
Offensive line flawed but adequate
I have a feeling this is going to be my impression of the Bears offensive line for much of the year. Overall they will execute well, but there will be stand-out moments of blunders. Today it was James Daniels botching a snap leading to a failed quarterback sneak. Then there was Rashaad Coward getting blown over by Chiefs second-year outside linebacker, Tanoh Kpassagnon. At the same time, those two players played well on average, especially Coward: who stood his ground against a first-team defense in his third game playing offensive line ... ever. Eric Kush, the one presumptive starter who played, did not have a good game. He’s previously put enough adequate play on tape that I’m not exceedingly concerned.
Daniel will be “Chasing” this game for the rest of his career
Mitch Trubisky you can't do that.gif pic.twitter.com/wL2cI4lVJ0— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) August 25, 2018
Okay. I know it’s painfully low hanging fruit to make a Chase Daniel name pun, but shouldn’t I be allowed one? I promise I won’t make any more. Daniel effortlessly chopped up his former team today, dancing around a perfect passer rating and ultimately settling for a meager 149.5. I don’t ever expect him to play this well again. And I certainly hope Daniel’s potential doesn’t have any bearing on the Bears’ regular season (or of course, postseason) prospects.
Javon Wims impresses again
Get you some Javon Wims, good lord.— Robert Żeglinski (@RobertZeglinski) August 25, 2018
Fantastic balance and playmaking ability with the ball in the air. pic.twitter.com/0r1wZST2zg
After Wims’ Hall of Fame Game performance against the Ravens, today’s performance certainly makes a strong case for a spot on the 53-man roster. Given Wims’ minimal experience, his production this August is extremely encouraging. I, for one, don’t like the idea of rolling the dice on him clearing waivers for a practice squad stash.
Kylie Fitts finally gets his paws on a quarterback, and Isaiah Irving secures his spot
This is where we are in evaluating the Bears’ pass rush. A sixth round pick getting his first pressure in three games, and a second-year undrafted free agent showing he’s just good enough to outplay whatever else the Bears have to offer. If Leonard Floyd and his club can’t carry the Bears pass rush, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio better make sure he has an unlimited phone plan with all the blitzes he’ll need to dial up. I said I wasn’t going to make another Daniel pun. I didn’t say I wasn’t going to make another bad pun.
Could Bradley Sowell be lost to injury?
I tend to root for all Bears. Because they’re Bears, and I love Bears. I haven’t rooted for Sowell since several penalties last season for childish behavior, like roughing up an opponent after getting beat on a play. Apparently offensive line coach Harry Hiestand is a fan of him, though. I’d prefer whoever the Bears can pick up on waivers if this injury takes Sowell out long term.
Staley looked good in overalls
Bears mascot and personal favorite of mine, Staley Da Bear, rocked overalls for a period during this game and pulled them off well. I’ve always been a little uncomfortable with the Winnie-the-Pooh-style jersey without pants look that Staley usually sports. I hope to see more of this alternate uniform.
Kevin White earns his first NFL touchdown
Kevin White's first career NFL TD from Chase Daniel.— Robert Żeglinski (@RobertZeglinski) August 25, 2018
Simple pitch and catch on a go route with a lost Orlando Scandrick covering.
Had to feel great for White. pic.twitter.com/lbGuGuENw4
It may be preseason, but the double move Kevin White put on Orlando Scandrick was deserving of prime time. Specifically, I would like to see White pull that off against the Packers in Week 1 and get equally wide open against some Packer cornerback like Josh Jackson or Kevin King. Equally impressive was White’s touchdown celebration which involved both chest pounding and shrugging. Kevin White is a complicated man, and I hope he sticks around long enough for us to peel back more layers of that intriguing onion.
At two preseason wins, the Bears are now tied in the NFC North for most preseason wins. They are also tied with Detroit for most preseason losses at two: a unique situation allowed by the Hall of Fame loss to the Ravens. The football world will be watching with baited breath next week to see who takes the division’s preseason crown.
For now, we have to settle for a well-played and well-won game by the less-heralded Bears on the roster.
Enjoy the win. No matter how much preseason wins don’t matter. This was an upset.