Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: The main talking point for this game is Matt Nagy’s decision to rest his starters based on a good week of practice.
Man, we talkin’ ‘bout practice.
We’ve heard about a “good week of practice” before and it meant diddly. I will say though, in this case, I don’t mind the decision right now.
The fact is, I don’t think we can judge this decision until September 9th. If the Bears come out flat and the offense is out-of-sync and while defense looks messed up, then this decision looks idiotic. It could be akin to a team that rests their starters in Week 17 and then has a first-round playoff bye. There will be talk of rust, of “sleepwalking”.
However, we won’t know until Sunday Night against the Packers in Week 1 so there’s not much use to go after this until then.
If the Bears come out sharp, we won’t look back. If the team looks lethargic and the Packers jump out to a big lead and cruise, it will be bad. We’ll see. Until then, it’s just talk.
Now, onto the actual game:
- Speaking of resting starters, Kevin White and Taylor Gabriel were in on the first drive. These guys need reps so I am okay with this. This is smart management of the players. Gabriel hasn’t practiced much and White needs snaps.
- For the talk about Taquan Mizzell and Ryan Nall, fans shouldn’t sleep on Benny Cunningham. He’s not a sexy player, but he can work in an offense and be solid. His skills were on display on the first drive, making a man miss after catching a check down pass in the flat and then breaking a tackle, following his blocks and finding pay dirt. Cunningham is a great third back.
- Tyreek Hill’s speed is no match for the second string, but Isaiah Irving didn’t keep contain well.
- The second-string defensive line seemed to get some good disruption through the Kansas City starting offensive line. They didn’t get home, but Patrick Mahomes had to scramble and move outside the pocket a couple of times.
- Not covering Kareem Hunt seems like a bad idea.
- Joel Iyiegbuniwe wants to be a doctor, which is admirable and interesting. I hope he has to delay medical school for six or seven years while he plays for the Bears.
- Ben Braunecker getting some reps with the No. 2’s is encouraging. The depth chart at tight end is interesting. Is there a spot for Braunecker and Daniel Brown behind the top three?
- A good amount of empty seats at Soldier Field. I wonder how many stayed in the parking lot and how many skipped it all together when word leaked the starters weren’t playing?
- Can’t tell if it’s a high snap, and can’t tell if Daniel is simply just that short on a fourth down sneak.
- Kevin White’s first touchdown! That should build some confidence for him, as he beat Orlando Scandrick. Nice moment. Say what you want about the guy, but looking at the way his teammates reacted and the guys that were patting him on the sideline, it’s clear he’s liked.
- With the help of some Kansas City penalties, two decent scoring drives by the No. 2’s isn’t a bad way to start the dress rehearsal.
- Deon Bush falls victim to the Soldier Field turf monster, but it looked like Travis Kelce already had a step or two on him.
- Mahomes’s arm reminds me of Jay Cutler’s.
- Nick Williams breaks through the line but over pursues.
- Good blitz with Nick Kwiatkowski and Irving getting in Mahomes’s face, causing him to get outside and throw it away.
- I get that these guys are trying to make the team, but wouldn’t it make more sense to take the knee with a kick that’s two yards from the back of the endzone? Isn’t that the smarter play?
- Javon Wims sighting: Interesting he is getting worked in with Marlon Brown, among others.
- Two plays later, Wims beats his man and gets downfield for 53 yards. That’s got to help his case a little bit.
- Mizzell makes a nice adjustment on a high pass to get a first down.
- Wims with a nice route and toe-tap for the touchdown. If he can impress Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor on special teams, he has a shot.
Chase Daniel, through 3 possessions, has 21 points and a perfect passer rating. pic.twitter.com/R26UDIGxoO— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) August 25, 2018
- Remember when after the Hall of Fame Game, I said Daniel was not impressive? Well uh, he might be a better No. 2 than I originally gave him credit for. Maybe Kansas City is just playing ultra conservative, but this is how an experienced No. 2 should look against schemes like that.
- Irving is all over the field and has made some plays, that opening play not withstanding.
- Not going to lie, Cunningham is solidifying the third running back spot.
- The backup offensive line has been good and solid overall. I like what I have seen.
- Bad snap on the quarterback sneak and a disaster. Of course, one item after I compliment the line.
- Overall a clean game for Chicago, penalty-wise. Good call on the Daniel run down the sideline. No dumb helmet rule flags yet, a sign that teams are adjusting? (written with three minutes left).
- That roughing the passer was the new emphasis on “driving the QB into the ground,” despite what the commentators said.
- Color commentator Jim Miller sites the improved sack numbers against the Bears offense this preseason, this after a sack was negated by a penalty.
- Cody Parkey nails a 48-yard field goal. There’s a positive step.
- The end of half sequence was interesting. I like Nagy not squatting on a time out, but with less than 10 seconds left, I’m not sure what he was going for? I wonder if he wanted Tabor to go with a trick punt return to simulate a desperation situation? In any event, I’m not upset about it.
- HALFTIME: The slow cooker chicken wings recipe I made were quite good. (Recipe link, for interested parties)
- Cre’Von LeBlanc is getting picked on, but whoever is matched up on Tyreek Hill will be, especially when its back ups.
- Nick Williams hasn’t been talked about a ton this preseason, but he’s having a nice game.
- Speaking of, I think the defensive line could be a strength of this Bears team. Of course it starts with Akiem Hicks, but with Roy Robertston-Harris, Eddie Goldman, Jonathan Bullard, Williams and Blilal Nichols, there’s great depth. Maybe no other superstars, yet I think this is a good rotational group whose advantage will be in guys being able to be fresh more than out-and-out frontline superstar power.
- Irving earned that sack, working against Eric Fisher and was still engaged with him there when he finally finished the play and took Mahomes down.
- Robertson-Harris draws a holding penalty from Fisher one player later. Fisher isn’t an elite tackle, but these are the plays I was talking about above.
- Great stand with the No. 2’s against KC’s No. 1’s. Bullard gets Mahomes uncomfortable, the reinforcements come in, and Mahomes throws it away. Great stop.
- Sherrick McManis remains elite at special teams. Don’t forget about him.
- Tabor isn’t acting like this is a meaningless game on the sideline. I think he could become a fan favorite if his unit shows up well this year.
- Play-by-play Adam Amin is eating some great-looking barbecue fries. Personally, I liked Amin for the preseason booth.
- Giving James Daniels an entire game on offensive line at two positions will give plenty of film for coaches to evaluate.
- Good punt, but then poor tackling gives the Chiefs nice field position after a 36-yard return.
- Kylie Fitts can’t finish the tackle right in the backfield, but keeps pursuing and just gets Chase Litton inside the pocket. Nice play from the rookie.
Taquan Mizzell just isn't good. #Bears— Aaron (Looney) Leming (@AaronLemingNFL) August 25, 2018
- I side with my colleague above. Not sure why people are so high on Mizzell.
- Should I go ahead and buy my No. 83 Wims jersey?
- That sideline play to Wims should also be noted as a good throw for Tyler Bray, who hasn’t impressed me much otherwise.
- Bradley Sowell doesn’t have a ton of fans, I know. But he’s an experienced swing tackle and if he’s injured, that is a huge depth hit for Chicago.
- Talk about pre-snap movement. Garrett Johnson ran about 50 yards on a third down motion to tip Kansas City’s man-to-man defense.
- Nall shows good patience on his runs, waiting for his blockers and the hole to develop and some good cutting ability. I think he’s a practice squad candidate.
- 55-yard touchdown, oh right, these are the third stringers. Poor tackling across the board.
- Kniles Davis, who has struck me as slow since he got to Chicago, had a nice little spin move to get some yards. Showing up in the fourth quarter of a preseason game tells me everything I need to know about his roster chances.
That is likely it for pretty any important part of the depth chart until September 9th at Lambeau Field. A quality showing by the depth of the Bears agains the Chiefs.