People will tell you pre-season wins don’t matter. Those people are usually pre-season losers. They are always life losers. Pre-season wins demonstrate superior depth and coaching and I will stand by that opinion ‘til my death or the Bears lose a pre-season game.
It’s so exciting to see our Beloved Bears take the field for some real live football. The moment my heart sinks at a Navy and orange third down failure, I know it’s real. Chicago Bears football is back. Today, Bears touched footballs, caught footballs, dropped footballs, and tackled people with footballs in their hands. Good day.
Drive one, three and oof
The first play was a check-down to UDFA TE Chase Allen for...two yards. OK. There wasn’t obviously a better option. Play two, Khalil Herbert on what looked like a cutback from outside zone for...two yards. It was a decent play by Willie Gay. Okay, fine. Play three new guard Michael Schofield is bull rushed into Justin Fields leading to a sack. Not okay.
And the Chiefs make offense look easy
It’s been two drives and I’m already sick of this familiar pattern of Bears offense looking like they’re playing in All-Madden mode while everyone else is chilling in Pro. I mean, I’m so excited to see Bears football and grateful for the opportunity and I will try not to complain.
Drive two: progress, baby
Khalil Herbert gets the edge on a 5 yard run! Bears found the rookie mode button. This is going to be awesome! Next play, Fields gets a lot of pressure during his rollout but makes a pass in tight coverage for a whopping 1 yard gain to UDFA TE Rysen John. Play three was the highlight of the drive, with a well placed ball to Darnell Mooney giving Moon Bear the opportunity to show his high-pointing skills and giving the Bears a legitimate FIRST DOWN. Let’s just end the drive description there.
Not the best day for Bears trench play
The Bears looked outmatched on both the offensive and defensive lines for most of the game. The good news is, the Bears current GM helped build the lines that beat us. There’s certainly potential and talent for the Bears, but it’s unsurprisingly not a well-oiled machine.
Al-Quadin Muhammad stands out on the defensive line
He was the only player to get pressure against Mahomes in the first drive, and on the second he slipped passed the line so quickly, I assumed it was a blitzing linebacker. Without looking back, I can’t tell if it was a screen play meant to let him through, but either way he got to the QB fast enough to force a throw-away so whatever silly plan the Kansas City Chiefs had was clearly foiled. Muhammad has been an after thought for me so far—I’ve been trusting Quinn as the established veteran and excited to see what Trevis Gipson and Dominque Robinson can do for the Bears future. I don’t think he’ll be an afterthought for too long.
Third drive...it’s alive!
I’ve been a fan of Tajae Sharpe since his rookie preseason when he flashed for the Titans and I decided to draft him with my last pick in fantasy. Today, he reinflated the Bears offense’s hope balloon with an impressive sideline grab of a crucial 3rd and 9 pass. That was followed by a brisk scramble by Fields for an easy 10 yards followed by a designed WR run by EQ Saint B for an easy 8. The drive ended with 4 straight Khalil Herbert plays, including a drop and then a punt. I don’t care. I love the spark of excitement we got and I’m feeling good about what I saw from Fields.
Can we trade for Khalen Saunders?
The Chiefs 324 pound defensive tackle chased down 4.4 rookie Tristan Ebner for a backfield tackle. I love that guy. Make him a Bear.
Braxton Jones unsurprisingly up and down
He held up in pass protection for most plays, but couldn’t give Fields enough space in one crucial play in the third drive play that almost ended the Bears hopes. I’ll have to circle back to the replay to tell you how well he played the run, but he at least didn’t have any whiffs in that department. Overall, expected on-the-job learning for a promising rookie.
Lamar Jackson getting a good look
Cornerback Lamar Jackson was out on the Chiefs first drive and stayed out against the Chiefs second team. He had an unfortunate failed tackle early but overall looked like a competent physical cornerback who seems well poised to make the team as a valuable depth piece.
Jaquan Brisker definitely looks the part
He stood out this week consistently in the right place and hitting unfortunate Chiefs with impressive ursine power. He even got his paw on a ball for a nice pass defense/almost interception.
Teven Jenkins gets some game play
I noticed because he got an ineligible player penalty. Whoopsie-Bear. Nice to know he’s healthy enough to take game reps.
Sharpe cuts through the Chiefs defense like butter
This Bear is taking full advantage of the booboos to his teammates. Tajae showed off with two big gains from Fields and Siemian and was the only receiver beyond Mooney to stand out in the first half.
Matt Eberflus, unstoppable challenger
One for one. Or, in otherwords, 100%, undefeated, and unbeatable. Matt Eberflus’ first and only challenge was accepted.
Okay, Dominique Robinson
This is what you want to see in the pre-season: athletic rookies translating their skill to sacks on an NFL field. I’m going to get too excited about this Bear.
Tristan Ebner is going to find a role in this offense
Bear is fast, tough, and a good route runner and pass catcher. He was the star of the Bears 3rd quarter comeback, and I don’t think it’ll be the last time he stands out in a Bears uniform.
Nice route and catch, Dazz Newsome
For the Bears second touchdown, Dazz Newsome beat (UDFA) Chiefs DB Devon Key on a corner route to get wide open and easily pawed in a nice toss from Trevor Siemian. Not two bad for the second-highest-drafted Bears receiver in the past two years.
A San is Born
Gritty UDFA Wisconsin linebacker Jack Sanborn was primed to be a fan favorite before he picked off whoever Buechele for the Bears first turnover of 2022 and then scooped up a fumbled ball for the Bears second. The young Bear made plenty of tackles on defense and special teams to solidify his standing as a seamless Roquan-replacement.
We saw the Bears play football. We saw some good throws, some good decisions, and a good run from Justin Fields. We saw depth receivers step up, depth pass rush get home, and a UDFA linebacker literally levitate above the crowd in his ascension to pre-season royalty. Good game one.