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Bears Continue to Show Rust

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Aug 28, 2006 1:00PM

2006_07_sports_lovie_preseason3.jpgThe Bears played their third preseason game on Friday night and again did not look like a team expected to win the NFC North. And this was the game that the starters tended to play more of the game. Granted, some starteers continue to sit because of injuries, but the team needs to improve if they expect to match expectations for the regular season.

While Lovie Smith again reiterated that Rex Grossman is the starting QB, Grossman once again didn't do very much to prove he deserves the job. Sure he completed 13 of 21 passes, but for only 117 yards, no TD passes and 1 INT. That gave him a passer rating of 57 for the game. Meanwhile, backup QB Brian Griese completed 10 of 14 for 131 yards and a TD. Chicagoist continues to believe that Griese's the better option for the team this year.

For all the talk about the battle for the running back position, we saw the first action by either of the competitors on Friday night. While Thomas Jones suited up and started, he was limited to only 3 yards on 4 carries. Not exactly numbers to instill confidence in the running game. But we'll reserve judgment until he and Cedric Benson are more fully healed from their respective injuries.

The defense continues to look nothing like last year's top rated D. Arizona converted 4 of 7 first downs in the first half (when the starters played) and 9 of 16 overall. They need to stop the opponents better than that. They had no takeaways and allowed 23 points. Health remains an issue of concern on defense, as well. Mike Brown and Nate Vasher didn't play because of injury, and Alex Brown dislocated his shoulder early in the game -- benching him for at least 2-4 weeks.

The Bears play their final tune-up on Thursday, and it'll be interesting to see whether Lovie Smith is more concerned about trying to keep his team healthy or work on building the chemistry that hasn't been visible thus far. Chicagoist suspects he'll rest the starters, and hope the chemistry develops once all (or most) of the starters are on the field together, healthy, against Green Bay in Week 1.

Image via Yahoo! News