It’s back baby! Chicago Bears football is back! The Bears started the 2014 campaign with a 34-28 victory in their preseason opener over the Philadelphia Eagles. This doesn’t exactly avenge the 54-11 loss to the Eagles last season, but it’s a start.
The Bears sat out several starters and key players who have been nursing injuries and otherwise missed time in training camp. Kyle Long (ankle), Jordan Mills (foot), Eben Britton (hamstring), Jared Allen (excused, new baby), Tim Jennings (quad), Isaiah Frey (hamstring), Chris Conte and Craig Steltz (PUP) and Martellus Bennett (Suspended) all missed the game.
For the most part, it was a good night for the Bears quarterbacks. The quartet went 29 out of 44 for 407 yards and 4 TD’s to go with 2 interceptions. It was also a strong night for the tight ends. Despite missing suspended starter Martellus Bennett, Zach Miller and Dante Rosario (or Rosario Dawson as I’ve been known to call him) each had decent nights, although Miller will be the preseason folk hero, joining the ranks of Mike Hass and Ken Mastrole in Bears lore.
Jay Cutler went 9/13 for 85 and a TD, leading the starting offense on a 13-play scoring drive, capped off by a nice back-shoulder throw to backup tight end Zach Miller. Miller led the Bears with 6 catches for 68 yards and a pair of TD’s. Brandon Marshall added 5 catches for 31 yards in limited duty. Matt Forte had 5 carries for -3 yards, but there’s no need to panic. Local kid turned folk hero Jordan Lynch led the Beloved with 24 rushing yards in mop up duty.
Jordan Palmer played the second quarter with mixed results. At times the second team looked lost behind Palmer. Admittedly, he was playing with the 2’s and the offensive linemen that were in there in front on him were probably mostly 3’s. Joe Long stood out in the worst way with a couple of costly penalties. Ka’Deem Carey got plenty of opportunities with 10 carries, but was only able to muster 23 yards.
Jimmy Clausen played the third quarter and after a shaky start, he settled down nicely. He appeared to be in better command and threw a better ball than Palemer. While only going 7/13, he threw for 150 yards and 2 TD’s including a perfectly thrown 73 yard strike to Chris Williams.
David Fales even got to see some mop up action in the 4th quarter. He led the Bears on a nearly 8-minute, 14 play field goal drive to help the Bears run some clock and extend their lead. He threw a silly interception, but regained his poise to run the offense decently.