The Chicago Bears made it worth you while to stay up late, holding off a furious late-game rally by the Arizona Cardinals to win 24-23.
No, it wasn’t as thrilling as the last time the Bears pulled out a 24-23 win at University of Phoenix Stadium. But this will do, as far as preseason games go.
- Once again, the Bears had several standouts on the defensive side of the ball. Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic highlights defensive end Jonathan Bullard and outside linebacker Leonard Floyd as being among the best of the bunch. Bullard started and made the most of his newfound playing time with three tackles, a tackle-for-loss, and a quarterback hit as he often found himself wrecking plays and bulldozing into the Cardinals backfield. Same with Floyd, who also registered a QB hit on Carson Palmer. In total, the Bears registered six quarterback hits in the first half as the front seven continues to shine.
- Let’s not overlook B.W. Webb’s impressive interception, even if the touchdown was called back because he was ruled to be down by contact. This was an impressive play, which set up a scoring drive. The Bears have been driving home the idea of creating more turnovers, and they did just that on Saturday.
- It’s back to the drawing board for Mike Glennon, whose performance didn’t inspire much confidence according to ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson. Glennon threw a touchdown (his first with the team), but also tossed his second interception in as many starts, and was spared of a few more on poor throws and questionable decision making. Getting on the same page with a new offense and new pass catchers wasn’t going to be easy, but Glennon isn’t making it easy on himself with the turnovers. Glennon owns a career 2.4 interception rate in 21 games, but that number is at 7.7 percent after two preseason contests. It’s a smalls sample, but he has been decidedly underwhelming through two preseason games
- Things weren’t that much better initially for Mitch Trubisky, who was pressured early and often by Arizona’s defense. Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune writes Trubisky was beaten up, but not beaten down (and thankfully, not injured) in Saturday’s game – a stark contrast from the clean pockets he was throwing with against the Denver Broncos last week. Trubisky said the Cardinals threw some different things at him, felt he made the right calls and protections, adding he believed he needed to get the ball out sooner. Despite the persistent pass rush, Trubisky still engineered a drive to put the Bears in field goal range, but new addition Roberto Aguayo missed it poorly. The rookie quarterback finished 6-for-8 for 60 yards, a touchdown, and a 135.4 rating.
- No matter who is under center, odds are they will only be successful if the Bears’ rush attack is productive. And in Saturday’s preseason contest, the running game was stellar. Over at the Bears’ official website, Larry Mayer highlights Tarik Cohen’s performance. The rookie fourth-round pick ran for 77 yards on 11 attempts – including 72 in the first quarter. Cohen broke off a 16-yard run on the opening drive and later busted through with a 25-yard gain. The speedy running back flashed by running tough between the tackles and proving hard to bring down when in the open field. Cohen might not be in the top three on the depth chart, but he’s playing like he deserves consideration.
- Meanwhile, Benny Cunningham looked solid in his multiple roles. The free agent addition who started his career with the Rams gained 41 yards on a kick return, caught three passes (including Trubisky’s 6-yard touchdown), and added three rush attempts. The jockeying for playing time behind Jordan Howard has turned out to be fierce with Cohen, Cunningham, and Ka’Deem Carey splitting time. And this competition hasn’t even included Jeremy Langford, who returned to practice last week but still was kept out of action in the second preseason game.
- Let’s go back to Aguayo’s missed field goal for a moment, because, did you see that thing? Yikes. Aguayo misfired on his first attempt with his new team, a 49-yard try that looked no good from the moment it left his foot. You can watch it in its full-blown glory here. He later made an extra point, which turned out to be the difference in the game. Still, that first kick isn’t at all the kind of first impression you want to make on your new team.
- Outside of Aguayo’s kick, Bears special teams stood out with more good things than bad. The highlight, of course, was Deonte Thompson’s 109-yard return of a missed 63-yard field goal attempt before halftime. Thompson’s run-back had us thinking of this…
… and this