The Chicago Bears opened up the pre-season against the Kansas City Chiefs and immediately showed the difference between a Super Bowl contender and a team that’s completely rebuilding. That being said there is some asterisks that can be added to that statement.
Namely the Chicago Bears didn’t start the game completely healthy on offense or with their best players on defense. Kyler Gordon, Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith didn’t start for the Chicago Bears on defense. That’s three of their best players on defense.
On offense, David Montgomery and Cole Kmet also did not suit up.
Of immediate concern, right guard Zach Schofield gives up a big sack on third down and also gives up a big pass deflection on third down. Schofield struggling early in his Bears debut. Right guard was the biggest concern before the Chicago Bears signed Schofield, and may remain so based on early returns. From my view Schofield didn’t look like he was the best option at right guard. He will be one to watch the rest of the pre-season.
Braxton Jones on the other hand immediately looked like he belonged in his debut at left tackle. He did struggle in one bull rush rep but otherwise showed great athleticism and awareness to turn inside and make a block that otherwise may not have been his immediate responsibility. He didn’t struggle with the starters in the least. Jones may be a hell of a find for the Bears. Seems you can get legitimately excited about Jones at the left tackle spot.
Tajae Sharpe also had an impressive debut for the Bears making two catches for 44 yards. Sharpe made a big catch on third down on a perfectly thrown ball from Justin Fields. A throw along the boundary that Fields throw to where only the receiver could make a play on it. Sharpe snagged it with one hand and secured it with both for the 19-yard gain. Later on in the game back Sharpe came down with another key catch. Those two catches on his only two targets make him a favorite to remain on the roster after the Bears cut to 53.
Nasty cut upfield from @ChicagoBears rookie RB Trestan Ebner. 😮
— NFL (@NFL) August 13, 2022
Trestan Ebner showed up big with the opening kickoff, immediately looking like he’ll be the Bears’ third running back. If Ebner develops and Herbert continues to develop David Montgomery may not get a contract extension in Chicago. Ebner also had a big run out of the backfield, showing a great one cut and get up the field with speed on the play. The excitement around Ebner has been a story in camp and he showed up early in both aspects of the game needed to make the roster.
On offense there were some pass protection breakdowns as well as some drops by the running backs that stood out as negatives. Nothing was absolutely glaring on offense as a huge negative.
On defense it was the debut everyone had hoped for from rookie Jaquan Brisker. Brisker shot into the backfield in back side pursuit, went past a would-be blocker and hauled down the running back for a loss. Big clean tackle on the rookie. Later, Brisker was in coverage on another receiver, read the QBs eyes and broke on the ball and nearly came up with his first pick. The natural instincts shown by Brisker on the play are signs that the Chicago Bears likely have a great player in the secondary.
Khyris Tonga at nose tackle made you sit up and take notice early in the game. Tonga is a big 0-technique better suited for the 3-4 but he made some penetration and some plays in the 4-3 defense. Tonga may stick because he is a pretty good athlete for his size.
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