After last year’s drubbing at the hands of the Denver Broncos in their preseason opener, the Chicago Bears looked a lot better this time around, but still fell 24-17 on Thursday night.
There were plenty of good performances to go around for the team, as their first-team defense looked strong throughout and some of their newest pieces made stellar debuts. There were a fair amount of bad performances as well, with veterans acting poorly and mental mistakes aplenty in the first preseason tilt.
So who looked good and who didn’t? To answer that question, we present our first ever edition of Winners and Losers, a column dedicated to breaking down the good, bad, and ugly of every Bears game.
It’s hardly a stretch to say that Trubisky did everything the Bears could have wanted in his debut (well, except lead a game-winning drive). He threw for 166 yards and a touchdown, and he proved that he could stand and deliver in the pocket and throw on the run, both of which are huge weapons for a quarterback in today’s NFL.
Floyd has a rare combination of speed and athleticism off the edge that is so critical to an outside linebacker being successful in a 3-4 defense, and he displayed both traits when he sacked Trevor Siemian on the very first Broncos play from scrimmage. Floyd has looked outstanding throughout training camp, and the second-year linebacker could have a monster season for a Bears team that has quickly developed a fearsome front seven.
The rookie out of North Carolina A&T has been compared to Darren Sproles because of his lightning-quick feet and his shiftiness on the run, and that’s exactly what he showed in his preseason debut. He rushed seven times for 39 yards in the game, and he showed some great potential. The Bears have visions of using him as a change-of-pace back for Jordan Howard, and he definitely showcased his talents at Soldier Field.
With Danny Trevathan out of the lineup, Kwiatkoski was tasked with calling plays on defense, and it felt like he was all over the field throughout the game. He was credited with five solo tackles to lead all Bears players in that category, and his ability to fire into gaps and diagnose plays was a welcome sight as the Bears look for depth in their linebacker corps.
Throughout the offseason and training camp, the Bears have hammered away at the point that Glennon is the team’s starter, but he could scarcely have made a worse impression than he did in the preseason opener. He posted a passer rating of zero, threw an interception, and looked completely ineffective against a Broncos defense that was missing players like Von Miller and Shane Ray.
The Bears’ Third-String Defense
The Bears’ first string defense had a strong night at the office, limiting Siemian and company quite well, but the third string defense gave up a pair of long touchdowns on third-and-long plays. One came on a preposterous blown coverage that saw wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie haul in a 47-yard touchdown pass, and the other came on a draw play that saw De’Angelo Henderson scamper 54 yards for a touchdown. Both were pitiful displays of defense, and will likely draw groans when the team goes over the tape Friday.
Sam Acho and Willie Young
The Bears have been trying to develop a more aggressive attitude on defense, but they crossed the line multiple times on Thursday as they were tagged with several personal foul penalties. Acho and Young both got involved in post-whistle shenanigans, and showed that there needs to be a line drawn between chippiness and foolishness on the field.