The Chicago Bears showed improvement, but still dropped their second preseason game to the New England Patriots 23-22. Here’s our rapid reaction.
At least that was the reaction I had to Robbie Gould’s first quarter field goal. While it ultimately didn’t matter the Chicago Bears failed to come down with a win, they gave us some quality preseason entertainment (oxymoron..?) in their 23-22 loss to the New England Patriots.
Like last week, here’s the good and the bad from preseason game No. 2 in Foxborough, Massachusetts:
Let’s start with the 22 points. After getting blanked by the Broncos last Thursday, it was refreshing to see a Bears touchdown, let alone a field goal. But, getting deeper into the scoring drives, the Bears saw their first two drives take up over 11 minutes, and both ended with scores.
Drives like that are what you’d like to see. Not only do they end in scores, but they control the clock and keep the football out of the hands of players like Tom Brady. Even though Brady didn’t play, it was a good simulation against a Patriots team which has made three straight AFC title games.
Secondly, Jeremy Langford showed off some key skills at running back which should calm those backfield nerves. On the Bears second drive, Langford took a handoff and rambled 34 yards to the Patriots’ five yard-line.
The Michigan State product displayed patience, vision and cutting ability as he waited for a hole to open, saw the second level break open on the outside and cut to the sideline. He would score on the next play, cutting between the defensive line and splitting two linebackers to score easily. That’s what you want to see out of the presumed No. 1 back.
Stemming from Langford’s success, the offensive line showed off some major improvement from a week ago. Cutler had time to throw, and Langford had holes to run through. Sans a holding penalty, Ted Larsen looked solid and settled into his center position.
The defense benefitted from a few dropped passes, but Tracy Porter gets all the credit for stripping New England running back Brandon Bolden at the five yard line to create a much-needed turnover. In Peanut Tillman style, Porter ran down Bolden, who looked like he was going to score on a run play, and forced the turnover instead of a tackle. For a team that lacked turnovers all last year, it was good to see someone force a red zone turnover.
As solid as the first team’s performance was, there was a pretty noticeable drop off once the starters came out.
While that is to be expected, Brian Hoyer throwing an interception on his first throw of the game is not optimal. His lackluster showing begs questioning if he could even drop down to the third spot on the depth chart before the regular season begins. It’s not that crazy of a thought; Hoyer’s first two weeks include a stat line of 2-9 3rd downs and two interceptions. Not very good for a guy who started a playoff game who’s throwing against second team defenses.
Second year man Connor Shaw led the Bears to a touchdown on the final drive of the game, and looked like he could’ve led the Bears to another had Shaw been put in the game a drive earlier.
Will Sutton and Ego Ferguson, two defensive tackles who, by all intents and purposes, are on the roster bubble, also failed to show they belong. Ferguson was a MIA all night, and Sutton missed two big tackles, one of which resulted in a score. Both were outplayed by Keith Browner, a second year man out of California and recent Texans cast off.
Injuries have also begun to pile up for second and third teams for the Bears as well. Wide receiver Deonte Thompson was carted off the field in the fourth quarter and was in a walking boot leaving Gillette Stadium and Jacoby Glenn, who started at cornerback, left with a concussion. Kyle Fuller also reportedly had arthroscopic knee surgery, which may keep him out until a couple of weeks into the regular season. This stings for Fuller, as he came into the preseason with a chance to nail down the starting cornerback role and improve with a secondary that sorely needs improvement.
The next game for the Bears is a 12 pm CT game against Kansas City, where eyes will remain on the Bears offensive line which looks to continue the success it had against New England.