Preseason game number two is in the books, and the Chicago Bears got smoked by the Buffalo Bills. Sure it’s a practice game, but the Bears had to have known that the Bills were going to bring some energy with them with Mitch Trubisky getting the start. Chicago had a flat first half on offense and defense, and there wasn’t many positive takeaways from the whole game.
This is one of those games that makes you thankful it doesn’t count, but you’d still like to see the Bears show more life.
Considering the Bills won big, 41 to 15, the numbers were decidedly one-sided. Buffalo had more total yards (347 to 298), they had the edge in first downs (25 to 14), and in third down efficiency (31% to 0%). The Bills were also 2 for 2 on their fourth down tries and the Bears were 1 for 4.
It was an overall ugly day at Soldier Field for Bears fans.
Before I get into the snap counts and individual stats, here is the list of Bears that did not play in the game. Some missed due to injury, and some due to coaches decision.
It’s not ideal to see the number one offense go to work with so many starters sitting out, but having these guys ready for week one is all that matters. The same goes for the defense in letting so many guys sit, and as long as they come ready against the Rams no one will be thinking about the 41 points they allowed today.
Now let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears and also some individual stats.
With so many players appearing in the game I broke the offense/defense snap count lists into two parts.
The Bears really wanted to get Andy Dalton some quality reps, but the offense was missing some starters and they never got any momentum going. Dalton played the first half and he went 11 of 17 (64.7%), for 146 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception, which was good for a passer rating of 86.9. His pick was likely due to his receiver falling down, but it wasn’t the best game from Dalton.
Justin Fields had the whole second half and he went 9 of 19 (47.4%) for 80 yards, and a passer rating of 59.1. He added 4 rushes for 46 yards, and his mobility was needed as he was playing behind a rough offensive line.
The Bears o-line, which seemed to come together and play well last week, did not look good against the Bills. Overall the Bears allowed 4 sacks and 12 quarterback hits, and the Bills were credited with 4 tackles for loss.
Alex Bars again got the start at right guard, so he’s a lock in case anyone was still wavering, and the Bears got another full game look at 2020 7th round pick Lachavious Simmons at right tackle.
Damien Williams started at running back and he had 1 catch for 2 yards and 5 carries for 8 yards. Khalil Herbert led the running backs with 15 yards on 3 rushes. Herbert’s special teams reps are a good indication that he’s solidified his spot on the roster.
Rodney Adams led the Bears in receiving yards with 89 on 3 grabs, including that nice go up and get it 73 yard TD. Tight end Jesse James had 4 receptions for 54 yards.
Marquise Goodwin got the start at wide out and only played that 1 snap, which makes me think the Bears are set on him being the primary WR3.
And speaking of wide receivers playing limited snaps...
In the two years he's played more than 10% of the #Bears snaps on special teams, wide out Javon Wims has 1 assisted tackle.— Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (@wiltfongjr) August 22, 2021
Rookie nose tackle Khyiris Tonga, who got the start again, had 2 tackles and 2 quarterback hits.
Duke Shelley started at the nickel and got 3 tackles, and Kindle Vildor had 3 tackles starting outside at corner.
Marqui Christian led the Bears in tackles with 6, he also had 2 tackles on special teams, and he had a pass defended as well.
Mario Edwards Jr. had 2 sacks and 3 tackles.
Trevis Gipson had a sack and 5 tackles.
Interesting to note that Josh Woods (2 tackles, 1 QBH) had zero special teams snaps and UDFA Caleb Johnson (2 tackles on D, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 tackle on special teams) had the most. Johnson may be pushing Woods out of the picture for a reserve inside linebacker spot.
Caleb Johnson tackled a guy with another guy.— Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (@wiltfongjr) August 21, 2021
Bilal Nichols left the game with a toe injury, and the Bears have yet to give an update on his status.
Jaylon Johnson and Artie Burns each had two passes defended.
UDFA Sam Kamara had a sack.
Robert Quinn didn’t record a stat in his 12 defensive snaps.
*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.
Chicago’s coverage teams were bad again yesterday and the 79 yard punt return TD allowed to Buffalo’s Marquez Stevenson was just the crappy icing on the cake.
Pat O’Donnell punted 5 times for a 55.6 average, but his net was much worse at 26.2. The Bears better hope their regular special teamers are able to come together once the 53-man roster is set, because right now those guys are brutal.
Backup kicker Brian Johnson nailed a 54 yard field goal.
To check out the full Bears vs Bills box score I find that ESPN has an easy to navigate site.
All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL’s Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.