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Bears Look Good Again, Grossman Up and Down

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Aug 27, 2007 2:53PM

2007_08_sports_bears_presea.jpgThe Bears played their third preseason game Saturday night, hosting the San Francisco 49ers. With the Bears taking the field at home for the first time since last year's playoffs, all eyes in Soldier Field were squarely on Rex Grossman. Even before the game, camera crews and Chicagoist ourselves focused in on Rex's practice snaps. We wanted to see any signs of progress after Grossman's three fumbles against the Indianapolis Colts last Monday, of which two came on snaps.

So did Rex perform any better? Um... not so much. It took him all of 11 plays before fumbling a snap on Saturday night. And then there was the interception returned 52 yards for a TD. Other than those plays, Grossman looked pretty good -- by completing 13 of 20 for 211 yards and two TD's, he earned a quarterback rating of 112.7. But we just can't feel confident when he displays such mental lapses that lead to turnovers.

Lovie Smith downplayed the issue, "We had a couple of fumbled snaps [against the Colts], we had one [against the 49ers], so we're making progress, that's how I see it." Does anybody else see it that way?

Maybe the rest of the team can carry the Bears to the Super Bowl in spite of Rex Grossman's shortcomings. They really did look good in the first half -- when the first team played. The offense (and by offense, we mostly mean the passing game) moved the ball and put up 31 first half points. Meanwhile, the defense held the 49ers to just seven points and those came following a fumbled punt return that gave the 49ers the ball on the Bears six yard line.

In the second half, the 49ers outscored the Bears 15-0 but who really takes the second half of a preseason game into consideration? At that point, it was mostly guys trying to move a notch up the depth chart or just secure a roster spot.

With their final preseason tune-up coming up on Thursday, we'll be focused on the running game. The trio of Cedric Benson, Adrian Peterson and Garret Wolfe has yet to show any real ability to move the ball. Through three games, they've totaled 209 yards on 79 carries -- an average of only 2.6 yards/carry. We hope the Bears won't be regretting their trade of Thomas Jones during the off season.

And of course, we'll be watching Grossman. If he can just go one game without fumbling a snap, we'd feel a little better.

Photo by Benjy Lipsman