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Bears vs Titans: Week 3 NFL preseason preview

The Chicago Bears face the Tennessee Titans in Week 3 of the NFL’s preseason schedule. Our Bears vs Titans preview examines the key matchups, looks at info and predicts how the final game will unfold.

Find out where the Bears and Titans land in our NFL power rankings

Bears vs Titans: What you need to know

  • The Titans host the Bears at Nissan Stadium on Saturday, August 28 at 7:00 p.m. EST on NFL Network, FOX32 and WKRN.
  • Sportsnaut says the Bears defeat the Titans, 20-13
  • Odds: Bears are a 3-point favorite with the over/under set at 36.

Let’s dive into our Bears vs Titans preview.

Justin Fields vs Titans’ defense

Matt Nagy is probably more committed to Andy Dalton than he should be. The veteran quarterback doesn’t need preseason games, but Nagy put him out for the entire half against the Buffalo Bills. But while we can’t predict how much Justin Fields plays, you can count on him delivering some highlights when he’s on the field.

Check out Sportsnaut’s NFL defense rankings

In regards to the matchup, it’s hard to ask for a better opportunity. Tennessee’s defense was one of the worst in the NFL last season and while improvements were made, depth remains an issue. We’ll examine how that will influence Saturday’s game.

  • Clean Football: Rookies make mistakes, especially in the preseason. But one alarming issue with Chicago’s offense through two preseason games is the overall lack of execution and the turnovers. Missed blocks, false starts, slipping on routes and mental blunders are recurring themes. Fields will need to play above that Saturday.
  • Farley Time: Back surgery crushed Caleb Farley’s draft stock, turning a top-10 pick into the 22nd pick. He didn’t hit the practice field until late in training camp, but Farley is healthy and seeing the field. Keep an eye on him in coverage against Chicago’s wide receivers.

Advantage: Justin Fields

Bears’ offensive line vs Titans’ defensive line

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Even a casual observer can’t watch a Bears’ game for more than a few minutes before realizing how bad the offensive tackles are. The Teven Jenkins injury made the situation much worse and while adding Jason Peters helps, Chicago has to be sweating bullets about its outside protectors entering the regular season.

Click here for our Chicago Bears preview and 2021 predictions

Fortunately, Nagy and Co. can breathe a little easier for the Bears vs Titans game. Tennessee’s pass rush is not its strength, so that should make pass protection a little easier.

  • Jason Peters debut: Chicago signed Peters, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, immediately after their first preseason game. The veteran is penciled in to start at left tackle and will likely make his Bears’ debut against Tennessee. We’ll see if the 39-year-old is still serviceable.
  • Rookie Watch One of the standouts from Titans’ training camp thus far is edge rusher Rashad Weaver. Tennessee’s fourth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft has firmly established himself as the No. 3 pass rusher on the outside. They need him to make an impact, but he is also facing discipline for an assault charge.

Advantage: Tennessee Titans

Logan Woodside vs Matt Barkley

Bears vs Titans
Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Barkley (14) warms up before a preseason game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Friday, Aug. 13, 2021 in Atlanta, Ga. Gw50249

Backup quarterback competitions never get attention, nor should they in most cases. Ryan Tannehill is the Titans’ starting quarterback and they are a Super Bowl contender when he is on the field. But if he gets hurt, a team being carried entirely by its offense crumbles. That’s what makes the Woodside-Barkley duel a storyline.

  • Team Project: Tennessee spent a seventh-round pick on Woodside in 2018 and he remains with the organization today. The 26-year-old has bounced around between the practice squad and the active roster. He seems to be taking a step forward this summer. He’s handling pressure well and
  • Well Traveled: Matt Barkley has played football in every region of the United States. He starred at USC and bounced around the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles (2013-’14), Arizona Cardinals (2015), Chicago Bears (2015), San Francisco 49ers (2017), Cincinnati Bengals (2018) and Buffalo Bills (2018-’20). Experience is nice and teams like him for a reason, but Tennessee should have a strong preference to win this job.

Advantage: Logan Woodside

The bottom line: Let’s be honest, the Bears vs Titans game is all about Justin Fields. He keeps showing everyone why he should be Chicago’s starting quarterback. Maybe another excellent performance will finally convince Nagy to make the move.