Soldier field was where it was, as the Chicago Bears took the field against the Kansas City Chiefs for their first preseason game. Fans was watching closely to see how the many parts of their beloved Bears team performed.
They wanted to see Justin Fields show he is the one to lead this offense. Everyone was looking to see if Fields was protected and if running back David Montgomery could get the ground game established. If Darnell Mooney and Tajae Sharpe could step up as receivers. Finally, there was a question about whether the defense was going to be any match for the Chiefs’ offense. Here are four takeaways from the Chicago Bears 19-14 win over Kansas City to open the preseason.
Justin Fields looks good for the Chicago Bears
Fields showed that he is Chicago’s future but his protection is very suspect. Fields showed flashes of a superstar QB in between sacks. He completed a dime to Darnell Mooney for 26 yards. The sophomore signal caller then completed a 19-yard pass to Tajae Sharpe with defenders in his face.
Our takeaway is Fields has progressed and he looks very much the part in Chicago. He can be an elite quarterback in this league if he can get some protection.
Offensive line struggles in a big way
This offensive line was completely overmatched. In Fields’ first seven snaps he was hit three times. The right side of the offensive line has got to get beefed up to protect their franchise QB.
Fields was under duress for much of his time leading the offense on Saturday, and much of that pressure was surrendered by Larry Borom and Michael Schofield, who were playing right tackle and right guard, respectively.
Not that all the blame is on the right side. Left tackle Braxton Jones was bullied by second string defensive end George Karlaftis. On one play he was actually pushed into Fields causing the contact. Riley Reiff did not play, and his presence alone could help shore up Fields’ protection. I haven’t heard anything about Reiff being injured so maybe he was held out to give snaps to others. From the looks of it, he definitely needs to be out there when Fields is behind center.
The average fan knows the state of the offensive line, so management has to see it. Either get Fields some more protection or this season isn’t going to be any better than last year. And that’s if he can avoid injury taking so many hits.
Chicago Bears skill positions show out
I was impressed by Bears runningback Trestan Ebner and wideouts Darnell Mooney and Tajae Sharpe. When the Bears drafted Ebner in the sixth round, the hope was he could provide a spark on both offense and special teams. Ebner immediately showed everyone his playmaking ability with the game’s opening kickoff. He fielded the ball with his feet on the goal line, then returned it all the way out to the 34-yard line. Later, Ebner showed his elusiveness with a juke that turned into a 27 yard gain. He also showed his pass catching abilities in the second quarter, when he caught a touchdown pass from backup Trevor Seiman.
Mooney also caught a 26 yarder and Sharpe had two catches for 44 yards. Sharpe made the biggest case for himself today out of the receivers. He went from fighting for a roster spot to being a lock for the 53 man roster. Although, they both stepped up in limited snaps and showed even with the four top receivers down. Depth and talent won’t be an issue at receiver. Overall, I think this offense could be something special with a line that could hold off the pass rush.
Defense struggles early, looks good later
I really couldn’t give the defense a fair grade with Roquan Smith not playing and the Bears holding Robert Quinn out of Saturday’s game. I saw some good from Jaquan Brisker and a really good performance from linebacker Jack Sanborn out of Wisconsin. Brisker had four tackles, one pass defended, and one tackle for a loss. Sanborn had seven tackles, one pass defended and one interception.
If Bears management can work things out with Smith, then get better play or sign players to beef up the offensive line, this Bears team looks very promising. Next, the Bears play Seattle on Thursday. Let’s see if they can fix some of the issues seen on Saturday.