The Chicago Bears offense didn’t do much in the first half of their game against the Tennessee Titans, but that was mostly because they just didn't have many opportunities. The first half time of possession was 21:30 to 8:30 in favor of the Titans, but it was the last 1:47 that allowed Justin Fields to make a statement in this offense.
Fields completed 3 of 4 passes for 32 yards, with a 6 yard scramble in that half ending drive, and yes the drive was helped along by a couple Titan penalties, but there was also a dropped pass on his incompletion, and that dart for a touchdown was worthy of a chef’s kiss.
Great pass. Great catch. @justnfields hits @JHorsted for 6!#CHIvsTEN | #DaBears pic.twitter.com/MsdGkK8fMA— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 29, 2021
The Bears went on to win 27 to 24, and it was a good way to close out the preseason. There were no major injuries to any key players, Fields got to shine, a few fringe players stood out, and did I mention there were no major injuries?
But for hose scoring at home, after the game head coach Matt Nagy said that safety Deon Bush (stinger), cornerback Tre Roberson (concussion), defensive lineman LaCale London (left elbow), and inside linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe (shoulder) were dinged up.
The team stats lean heavily towards the Titans, but remember we’re talking about practice, and besides the good guys got the W last night so it’s all good.
Tennessee had the edge in first downs (23 to 12), total yards (407 to 252), total offensive plays (77 to 45), third down conversion percentage (41% to 30%), and time of possession (38:26 to 21:34).
But the Bears won the turnover battle (2 to 0), and they had fewer penalties (6 for 45 yards to 10 for 109).
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.
Of these 27 Bears that did not play against the Titans, I spot 22 locks for the 53-man roster including Teven Jenkins who will make it only to land on injured reserve after it’s processed.
Now let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears and also some individual stats.
Justin Fields finished 7 of 10 for 54 yards, 1 TD, and a passer rating of 116.2, and he had 2 runs for 13 yards.
Nick Foles went 10 of 13 for 142 yards, with 2 TDs, and a passer rating of 151.3, and if the Bears are lucky he reminded some opposing GMs that he’s still a viable NFL quarterback.
The Bears leading rusher was Artavis Pierce with 27 yards on 8 carries.
Their leading receiver was Jesper Horsted with 5 catches for 104 yards and 3 TDs. He was also very active on special teams, which makes me think the Bears have some plans for him this year.
Another active special teamer was Ryan Nall (1 rush for 2 yards), and that may sneak him onto the 53-man roster again this season. Sticking with the third phase, wide out Riley Ridley (2 catches for 12 yards, 1 tackle on special teams) was given plenty of reps there for the Bears to look over.
Rodney Adams (3 receptions for 15 yards) didn’t play a snap on special teams after getting a handful of reps there the first two preseason games, so I wonder if that means the Bears didn’t like what they saw from him those first two games, or if they’ve seen enough of him in the third phase and just wanted to see other wide outs perform in the third phase. I do think Adams has done enough to make the 53-man roster, but if the Bears aren’t comfortable with him playing the specials he could be cut and brought back to the practice squad.
Christian Jones and Josh Woods led the Bears with 11 tackles apiece, with Jones adding a QB hit and Woods chipping in with 2 tackles for loss. Jones is a roster lock with his ability to play any linebacker spot and special teams, but Woods may be in a battle with UDFA Caleb Johnson (8 tackles on D, 1 on ST) to stick around.
The turnover bucket got a work out with interceptions from Danny Trevathan and Tre Roberson.
Charles Snowden had the Bears lone sack, but Trevis Gipson had a couple QB hits, one of which led to the Roberson pick-6.
Does anyone have a clue who the Bears are going to play at cornerback opposite Jaylon Johnson or at nickelback?
The Bears defense held Titan QBs to a passer rating of 65.4.
*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.
Patrick O’Donnell punted 6 times and had a 46.3 yard average (43.7 net) and he placed 2 punts inside the 20 yard line.
The punt/kick coverage units looked much better this week.
It’s good to see Patrick Scales back form his injury, and for that that were wondering the backup long snappers on the Bears are Cole Kmet and Ryan Nall.
Khalil Herbert returned 3 kickoffs for a 22.7 average.
Wide out Chris Lacy has 3 tackles on special teams.
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.