Bears Preseason: Week 2 Notes

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
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Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears may have lost again this week, 22-21 to the Patriots in Foxboro, but it was a much better performance all around compared to the one-sided 22-0 loss to the Broncos in the preseason opener. It was far from perfect, but the Bears didn’t look completely outmatched on both sides by every string, so it’s a significant improvement.

The Bears first string offense was embarrassing in week one, but this week they moved the ball with relative ease against the Patriots first string defense. Penalties did a better job stopping the Bears starters than the Pats defense did. Cutler led the Bears offense down the field for two scores in three drives.

The first string defense had a tougher time, but didn’t allow any points. The Pats didn’t get on the board until there was just 3:52 left in the first half and at that point the first-string defense had been sidelined for awhile. The starting D almost gave up a score in the first quarter, but corner Tracy Porter bounced back from a few mistakes to rip the ball out of Pats RB Brandin Boldin’s hands a few yards from the goal-line.

The starters on both sides of the ball showed promise, but the second string defensive gave up 17 points in the last 3:52 of the first half. The backup defense was better in the 2nd half, only allowing six points, but the 2nd string offense canceled it out by not getting a first down until late in the 3rd quarter.

I’ll break down the parts of the game that stood out the most during the Bears 22-21 loss in my game notes below.

Game Notes: Week 2

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

The offensive line played 100%  better than last week. The pass protection for Cutler was almost perfect. He was rarely pressured and when he was it was after he had plenty of time to survey the receiving landscape. The o-line also did a much better job run blocking, opening up enough holes for the Bears to gain 125 rushing yards at 4.2 yards per carry clip.

  • LT Charles Leno Jr owned Pats OLB Tyler Flowers in pass protection, but didn’t get much movement in the running game.
  • C Ted Larsen wasn’t perfect (holding penalty negated nice Langford run) but he was much better than in week one. He showed legitimate signs of improvement, which moves me from terrified to just really worried about the center position for the Bears.
  • RT Bobby Massie was beat a few times by the veteran DE Chris Long, but won more battles than he lost. The talent is clearly there for Massie to be an improvement for the Bears at RT.
  • LG Cody Whitehair made some mistakes, including giving up a sack after getting destroyed by a 2nd string DT, but also made some nice run blocks to spring some positive running plays. He’s less ready than I expected, but has shown signs of being a plus run blocker.
  • The 2nd & 3rd string lines were way better as well. They gave up more pressures and weren’t as good in the run game as the starters, but didn’t embarrass themselves as they did in week one. After two viewings of the game none of the backups really stood out for bad line play, which is what you hope for from the reserves.
  • Jay Cutler was poised, accurate, and looked like a top-15 QB. He only had four incomplete passes (8/12) with two drops on catchable balls and two passes thrown away on purpose. Cutler finished the game with just 83 passing yards, but did lead the Bears to ten points, which could have been more if not for some penalties in the red one stalling a drive. After a disappointing week one, Cutler looked really sharp and in control of the offense.
  • Next: Bears Week 2 - Game Notes