Chicago Bears Preseason Game #3: Stock Watch Offense
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
So much for the Chicago Bears undefeated preseason after a miserable 21-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. There were very few positives in this one as the Bears struggled on both sides of the ball. The first half of the 3rd preseason game is the closest thing to a regular season game and the Bears were down 21-3 going into the 2nd half.
The Bears were playing without the top four WRs on their depth chart, but I don’t think it would have made much of a difference. The O-line, especially the tackles, were beaten consistently by the Bengals D-line and Cutler rarely had enough time to look downfield. They didn’t do much in the run game either as there weren’t many holes for the Bears RBs to run through.
On a bright note, the special teams played pretty well at least. The return game was solid for the 3rd week in a row, Robbie Gould knocked down a 34 yard field goal, Pat O’Donnell had a couple nice punts and rookie WR Ify Umodo blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown.
Umodu’s TD was too late in the game to make any difference and the Bears did nothing to capitalize. For the day they never made it into the red zone, despite Cutler playing into the 3rd quarter. As I mentioned above, the Bears are missing their first & second team WRs and it showed on Saturday with no one besides TE Martellus Bennett getting open consistently. For his part Cutler looked OK, but there were limited options for him to throw to and the O-line had him scrambling every time he waited for someone to get open.
It’s just a preseason game and one that the Bears played severely under-manned, so I’m not putting too much stock in Saturday’s loss. With the preseason finale coming up next week, the Bears need to do whatever they can to get the receiver core healthy or Cutler and the Bears will see a lot of 8-man fronts which will hinder the impact of the their best player in Forte.
I’ve broke down both the good and bad performances on offense from Saturday night’s debacle. The offensive section is considerable shorter than the defensive one, which I will post later, as it was a stretch to include any positives for offensive players after their performance this week.
QB Jay Cutler – Don’t take this the wrong way… I know Cutler wasn’t great tonight as his stats and the final score will attest, but I’m not sure prime Peyton Manning would have played well in these circumstances. With both offensive tackles getting beat regularly, there was little time for Cutler to look downfield. Cutler was also playing without the Bears top four receivers on the depth chart. He finished the game with another accurate line (13/17, 98 yards) and managed to avoid any turnovers. Cutler did orchestrate two decent drives in his time on the field but both were waylaid by dumb penalties. At least Cutler didn’t scream at his tackles for almost getting him killed out there.
TE Martellus Bennett – Had seven catches for 45 yards as Cutler’s primary target. Bennett caught everything thrown his way, got open consistently, and also broke a tackle on a short catch to give the Bears a first down. I’m expecting big things from the Black Unicorn in a contract year and with multiple injuries to Bears WRs.
WR Ify Umodu – Caught the only ball thrown his way for 11 yards and also blocked a punt and returned it for a TD. Umodu is a long-shot to make the roster, but with all the WR injuries and Umodu’s big special teams play, he could be in the conversation for one of the final roster spots.
That’s it. Ugly game overall for the offense.