The Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos played their first preseason game this Thursday night at Soldier Field. The Bears played well but fell just short in what was a close game, losing 24-17. This game saw the debut of first round draft pick Mitchell Trubisky, who had the best night of all three of the quarterbacks available. While that was the highlight of the evening, there were other things that made this an interesting game for Bears’ fans.
The Bears had a rough start to the game on offense. Quarterback Mike Glennon threw an interception that was returned fifty yards for a score. He was under duress at times and didn’t have too much help from a couple of his receivers. A high snap by center Cody Whitehair wasn’t Glennon’ s fault ,but it was representative of a night of mistakes culminating in frustration for the starting offense.
A bright spot for the Bears on first-team offense was the play of Tarik Cohen. One hit against the 5’6″ running back is some feel he would not be able to withstand the rigors of the NFL. If he can, Cohen will be special. The Bears utilized him a lot on Thursday and he had several good runs. He was even utilized on special teams as the Bears try to see just how and where they can use their talented fourth round pick.
But Cohen wasn’t the offensive star of the evening.
Trubisky had such a big night that today, fans all over social media are calling for him to start ahead of Glennon. Trubisky calmly led the Bears’ offense on two scoring drives playing efficient mistake free football. He had great poise and looked very comfortable under center, which is new to him. Hopefully he can continue to play well during the preseason and give the coaching staff something to consider at quarterback heading into the season.
The starting defense did not have that great of a start. There were some serious penalties handed out by officials including an unnecessary roughness call on Willie Young and a hit to the head by Sam Acho. Eddie Goldman was ejected for getting into a shoving match on the field. Sure, it’s early in the preseason and players are probably anxious to hit someone other than a teammate. Still, some self-control must be used. Don’t’ get too concerned about this as better discipline will come eventually but this made for a nerve wracking start to the preseason.
Aside from Cohen, Bears’ running backs had a solid game overall. Ka’Deem Carey showed that he could move the football well and play special teams. Benny Cunningham proved he is more than a runner in between the tackles. The Bears shouldn’t have to worry about the running back position heading into the season as they have great depth and talent there. It’s easily one of the strongest positions on the team.
Finally, I thought that Chicago’s special teams looked good on Thursday. Deonte Thompson, Carey and Cohen all looked like they could be capable of handling returns. Thompson was the star of the group as he had a 44-yard kickoff return. He appears to have the early edge on handling kickoff returns. Having this much capable talent gives the Bears some options in trying to determine who should return kickoffs and punts. Most importantly it provides some stability for the regular season.
Cohen and even rookie safety Eddie Jackson can be used on punt returns. Jackson may have the early edge due to his previous experience but Cohen looks very capable of handling punts.
With this kind of talent, the Bears’ special teams will be “special” in 2017.
My first preseason game impression: It looked promising, but there is still a lot of work to do. However Chicago is on the right track. Let’s see what Trubisky can do in the second game and see if the defense can clean up its mistakes.
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