The Bears second preseason game wasn’t quite as impressive as their opener against the Eagles. The Bears still won, whatever that is worth, but were significantly less impressive overall in their 20-19 win over Jacksonville. Like last week there were too many penalties, the running game struggled and there were some mistakes on defense, but there were some positive signs as well. For a more detailed recap of the game, check out Boomer’s take and Napier’s “non-expert” recap.
I have been covering the Bears position battles all preseason and I will be updating who helped and who hurt their chances in Thursday night’s game. Performing in practice is one thing, but the winners will be decided by who performs on the field during preseason games.
Position: #2 QB
After a stellar performance in week 1, Jimmy Clausen regressed a bit in the Bears 2nd preseason game. I’ll get to the details below, but Clausen had the lead for the #2 job coming into the game and now he doesn’t. Jordan Palmer improved in his 2nd outing and now we are back to an even battle at arguably the most important position battle on offense.
Up: Jordan Palmer – He came into the game with the Bears down 19-7 and led them to a 20-19 victory in a little over a quarter of play. That’s impressive in itself, but I thought the little improvements Palmer made from last week are more important. He sped up his decision-making, did a better job progressing through his reads, and seemed calmer in the pocket. His numbers aren’t impressive, 6/9, 73 yards, 0 TDs, but he was at the helm on two 4th quarter TD drives and looked like a competent backup to me. At this point both QBs have shown me enough that I wish there was a way to keep both of them.
Down: Jimmy Clausen – I was tempted to list him under “No Change” because Clausen really didn’t play that bad, but his performance was down considerably from week 1 and he no longer has a clear edge for the backup job. Clausen’s numbers on the day, 11/15, 94 yards, 1 INT in roughly two quarters of play, don’t tell the whole story. Clausen was sabotaged by so many penalties that it seemed he was always facing a 3rd & long situation. Over half of his completions were dump offs against dime coverage, he missed a couple of open receivers but didn’t get much help from his receivers either, and his interception was deflected and could have still been a completion if Bellamy had given more than a half-ass effort. The circumstances around Clausen kept this from being a true test of his abilities. Clausen made some mistakes, but some nice plays as well and overall the night was a wash in my opinion.
No Change: David Fales – After an impressive outing in week 1, Fales didn’t get any snaps in week 2. I’m not sure if we will see Fales at all until week 4 due to the heated battle between Clausen & Palmer. I also think that maybe the Bears don’t want to give teams more tape on Fales so they can slip him through waivers to the practice squad. If they can keep Fales on the practice squad, then it’s possible to keep both Clausen and Palmer on the 53-man roster.