The Bears kicked off their 2014 preseason with a 34-28 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. There were highs and lows, as you’d expect with any game. Some players really helped themselves while others didn’t do themselves any favors with their performance. Let’s look at the Winners and Losers in the Preseason Week 1 Chicago Bears victory.
Cutler really seemed comfortable in the second year of the offense. He went 9/13 for 85 yards and a touchdown on two series for a passer rating in excess of 112.
Miller led all Bears pass catchers with 6 catches. He had 68 yards receiving and two TD’s. That’s not bad for a backup tight end. He’ll certainly get more opportunities.
Starting Defensive Line
The emphasis of the offseason was rebuilding the Bears defensive line. Even though Jared Allen sat out after missing the last few days of camp for the arrival of a new baby, the rest of the defensive line was stout. Stephen Paea and Jeremiah Ratliff, returning from last season, got some nice pressure up the middle. A couple of plays later, Willie Young‘s pressure led to a Nick Foles interception. This group will markedly better than last year’s unit.
Clausen came in in the third quarter and sparked the Bears offense. He went 7 for 13 for 150 yards and 2 TD’s. He clearly looked better than Jordan Palmer. I’d be shocked if he didn’t run with the second team next week.
The Bears had three interceptions on the night, with Ryan Mundy, Sherrick McManis and Al Louis-Jean all grabbing takeaways. Kyle Fuller had a nice recovery to swat away what would have been a first down catch. Adrian Wilson had a nice thump and knocked down a Hail Mary pass.
Greene scooped up a fumble and looked a lot better in his second year. He was probably the standout among the young linebackers.
Williams showed explosive speed with a 73 yard touchdown reception. After a perfectly thrown ball by Jimmy Clausen, Williams turned on the jets and was able to run away from defenders for a touchdown. Loser note – Williams pulled a hammy on the TD catch, so he’ll likely miss valuable reps when practice resumes on Sunday.
Lynch showed well in garbage time late in the 4th quarter. Not bad for his first crack at running back. He’s still buried on the depth chart in a crowded running back race, but he acquitted himself well enough to merit more opportunities.