The third preseason game is generally when the starters play the most and gives us a good idea on how the team looks so far this preseason. When the Chicago Bears travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks Friday, we could see the starters play into the second half.
For the offense, coach Marc Trestman said it’s possible the offensive starters could play into the second half depending on the total number of plays. The defense however could see a few different rotations and play into the second half as well.
Friday will provide a big challenge for the Bears as they go up against the defending Super Bowl champions and the NFC favorite heading into the season.
Here are three things to look for in Friday’s preseason game:
Bears passing attack vs. Seattle secondary
The Seahawks have arguably the best secondary in the league with the ‘Legion of Boom’, so Friday will be a good test for the Bears offense. With know the abilities of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett but going up against a good Seattle secondary will be very interesting to watch.
For Seattle it will be their first real test of the preseason, going up against an offense that is in the second year of a new system and ready to put up points.
In their last match-up, Marshall had 10 catches for 165 yards in a game without Jeffery and Bennett. The Bears eventually lost that game, but Cutler finished with 233 yards and two touchdowns. Although it’s preseason, the Bears receivers should give Seattle’s secondary some struggles.
Chris Conte is expected to play for the first time this preseason, so the safety rotation will be very interesting to watch. All throughout training camp and the preseason we have seen numerous rotations but nothing has been set in stone.
With Conte returning, it will be interesting to see how much time the safeties will play. The starters could go into the third quarter, leaving limited time for others. For Conte, that could spell bad news on his chances to win the free safety job.
We likely will see Danny McCray and Ryan Mundy start the game as the first safety duo which is a possibility for week one.
One player to watch out for is Adrian Wilson who continues to battle for a safety spot. The veteran has expressed his intentions to start for the Bears and could be running out of time. Wilson isn’t a candidate to contribute on special teams, so starting is his only niche.
With cuts coming up and this being the third preseason game, the rotations we see Friday could be the best indication of what to expect during the season. The Seahawks offense will be a good test for the Bears secondary who are looking to rebound after struggling against the Jaguars.
Shea hasn’t looked liked he’s made a ton of progress in his new role as a linebacker, but believe it or not he actually played better against the Jaguars. The first-year linebacker and third-year player had a bad game to open up the preseason against Philadelphia, but showed some signs during the teams second preseason game.
During the game Shea did his job on several plays containing the edge and shedding off a blocker. Both are things he struggled at last season as a defensive end.
It’s hard seeing Shea win a starting linebacker spot, leaving the Bears with a big decision on what to do. Friday could be a crucial game for McClellin.