The starters need to step up for the Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears starters struggled in Week One of the preseason against the Kansas City Chiefs. The team will need to show improvement on offense and defense in Week Two at Seattle. The Seattle Seahawks are projected to be around where the Bears are in terms of likely outcomes in 2022.
This is a good measuring stick for the Chicago Bears. Here are five things Bears fans will want to take note of during the game Thursday.
1. Can Justin Fields show progress(ions)
The Bears’ second-year quarterback had a decent performance in Week One. Fields made some nice pre-snap reads and tossed a couple of dimes while under pressure. One step Fields hasn’t mastered is the art of progressions. Fields can often look at his primary target like “Squints” looks at Wendy Peffercorn in the movie Sandlot.
It’s been a consistent and considerable problem for Fields during camp. Even a highlight reel catch from Darnell Mooney couldn’t detract viewers away from how Fields stared him down. This problem was noticed by Dan Orlovsky after the Chiefs game.
I’d like to see Fields’ “quick game” eyes be better… pic.twitter.com/cRqrapegQe
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) August 15, 2022
2. How does Teven Jenkins play at guard?
Teven Jenkins came into the league as an offensive tackle. The Chicago Bears moved Jenkins to the right guard position in their last practice. After Michael Schofield’s dreadful performance Saturday, the Bears might be putting their trust in Jenkins to solidify the starting right guard spot.
The transition from tackle to guard can take a little time. Especially in Luke Getsy’s offense. Getsy said the guard is tested more mentally than the tackle in his scheme. We’ll see how Jenkins responds to the switch in Week Two. A starting guard is better than a trade for a fourth-round pick.
3. Can the Bears’ special teams kick in good field conditions?
Chicago Bears rookie punter Trenton Gill had a great preseason debut against the Chiefs. Kicker Cairo Santos was a perfect two-for-two on his field goal attempts Saturday. Santos and Gill have had the advantage of preparing to kick on their “sandy” home field.
Santos has said he had to stop practicing this offseason at a local high school because it was too nice to simulate Soldier Fields’ terrible playing surface. When they head to Lumen Field, the special teams unit will have to deal with non-adverse conditions, which could be a major disadvantage for the Bears.
They’ll need to take advantage of this game and the next one at the Cleveland Browns to prepare for professional field conditions before the regular season. There are a whole eight games the Bears will need to kick on a properly maintained surface.
4. Rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon makes his debut
Chicago Bears rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon didn’t play against the Chiefs. His second-round rookie colleague, safety Jaquan Brisker, had a nice performance. Gordon has had a lot of coaching praise hyped on him this offseason.
Gordon is looking forward to playing his first NFL game in the same state that he played in college. As a Washington Huskie, Gordon never gave up a touchdown. We’ll see how he can hold up at the NFL level Thursday.
5. How fast does Velus Jones Jr. look at the NFL level?
With the Bears having a plethora of injuries already at wide receiver, Jones will need to step up this season. The speed threat rookie from the Tennesse Volunteers knows his teammates are depending on him this year. While he’s known for making flashy moves on special teams, Jones will need to up his wide receiver skills before the regular season.
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