Bears show improvement despite loss to Falcons
The Bears lost their season opener to Atlanta, 23-17. but a case can be made this loss isn’t the same old Bears.
Sitting in section 105, one could feel a buzz Sunday. Yes, the Bears were coming off a terrible 3-13 season, and fans stayed away in droves at the end of last season. And, yes, it was opening day, so of the 61,857 tickets sold for this game, 56,690 witnessed a good game. Atlanta fans in attendance went home happy.
Bears fans were left to wonder. Many were angry about the game plan, while others lamented the fact that Mitch Trubisky is not starting. Ultimately, the Bears played the defending NFC Champions and had a chance to pull off a huge upset.
A Star is born
As fans streamed out of Soldier Field, dismayed at the final outcome, one of the several bright spots on the day was the play of rookie RB, Tarik Cohen. The box score doesn’t tell the entire story of Cohen’s burst onto the Bears scene. Cohen’s 158 all-purpose yards was not only better than the likes of Hester, Payton and Sayers, it is the best debut by a Bears rookie EVER! His record-breaking day eclipsed a mark that had stood since 1944.
The 2017 edition of your Chicago Bears, played toe-to-toe with the defending NFC Champions and were a dropped pass away from a huge upset. Trailing 23-17 with just over 3 minutes to play, QB Mike Glennon led the offense on a drive that had the Bears first and goal at the Atlanta 5 yard line, with under a minute to play. On first down, Josh Bellamy had an attempt to catch the ball in the end zone, but the pass was a little overthrown and Bellamy’s valiant attempt lunging to make a catch saw the ball hit his hands.
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The second down pass went straight into the hands of RB Jordan Howard, inside the one-yard line, but he flat-out dropped the ball. On fourth down, Mike Glennon was sacked and Atlanta escaped with the win.
Kevin White injured……. AGAIN
RB Benny Cunningham injured an ankle and did not return.
LB Jerrell Freeman, who was on the field during the last defensive series, was in Concussion Protocol after the game.
Kevin White, playing in just his 5th game for the Bears, was injured during a jarring tackle on only his 2nd reception of the day. According to some reports the Bears fear White broke his scapula on the play and will be lost for the season. White missed his entire rookie season due to injury, and was lost for the season in 2016 in the fourth game.
At Tampa, Sunday, September 17th.
The Tampa Buccaneers were forced to reschedule their season-opener with Miami due to Hurricane Irma, making Sunday’s game Tampa’s regular season opener. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 EDT.
This was not the same old Bears the fans have witnessed over the last two seasons. They played well and deserved a better fate. The game plan called for a conservative approach on offense and Mike Glennon delivered. The thin WR corps has been decimated with the season ending injury to Cam Meredith and what could be a season ending injury to Kevin White. Getting Mark Wheaton back soon will help. The Bears can also elevate Tanner Gentry to the active roster, should White’s injury requires the team to put him on season ending IR.