Bears Defense And Offense Tight In Second Preseason Game
The Bears showed what they're capable of Saturday night against the Washington Redskins—the offensive displayed explosiveness while the defense held down the Redskins and generated turnovers, and they won 33-31 on a Robbie Gould field goal. Here are a few things to take away from the second preseason game.
Bears fans got their first glimpse of Jay Cutler since that fateful game last November when he broke his thumb. In his first pass of the year he connected with Brandon Marshall for a 41-yard gain. They connected once more and Marshall finished with 61 yards, but rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery truly stood out with several grabs and some slick moves after the catch. Jeffery ran tight routes and outmaneuvered the secondary with his athleticism. In the first half the Bears racked up 262 yards of offense, 210 of which were passing.
Running back Michael Bush rebounded nicely from a lackluster performance in the first preseason game. He scored two touchdowns in the first quarter; on the second he was patient and danced around to find the hole. Matt Forte only played a few snaps, which shows the importance Bears head coach Lovie Smith places on his health. For the most part, Bush took the first team snaps and Kahlil Bell replaced him in the second quarter.
The ever-maligned offensive line was solid at times and questionable at others. The Bears were intent on keeping Cutler from taking hits and he mostly took three-step drops. On a few longer drops the pocket collapsed around him and he was hit after the throw. When Jason Campbell came into the game more five-step drops were used and he was sacked three times. Overall, the line improved from last week but still showed that it can be the weak link of the offense.
The Bears defense once again displayed their ability to shut down mobile quarterbacks. They contained Robert Griffin III well and used their speed and savvy to frustrate the young quarterback. The defense pressured Griffin throughout the first half, resulting in an Israel Idonije forced fumble.
The game didn't pass without a few troubling injuries. Safeties Chris Conte and Brandon Hardin both went down with injuries. Conte suffered a shoulder injury and Hardin had to be carted off the field with a neck injury after leading with his head on a tackle, and he was taken to the hospital for examination.
The safety position has been a struggle for the Bears for several years and these injuries will definitely hurt the position. On the bright side, safety Major Wright played well and Craig Steltz has had the best camp of any safety. Unfortunately, neither Conte or Hardin's injury appeared to be minor.
• Former Bears quarterback Jim Miller called the game and, from what we could tell, thinks this Bears team may be the greatest collection of human beings ever assembled. Hawk Harrelson might have competition for the title of biggest homer in town.
• Meanwhile, Jay Cutler's ability to be a baseball player or backup quarterback is in doubt. While standing on the sideline he repeatedly spit sunflower seeds all over himself—we guess backups are the only ones who have time to master the art.
• Last but not least, hats off to Chicago's spray tan industry for combining their forces to douse Redskins coach Mike Shanahan's face with everything they had.