Well, it happened good people, the Chicago Bears finally played in an NFL game. I know, it was a preseason game. Still, it was fun. Preseason football is like getting a table at the restaurant before eating your favorite meal. Its kind of like the food is there but really your just sitting down. It’s all about the anticipation of the NFL season. In Saturday’s game, there were some interesting takeaways. In this week’s State of the Bears Nation, I will discuss three things I learned from Saturday’s preseason game.
1. Justin Fields is good at football
I get it was preseason. I understand. But I also had the privilege of rewatching every game Fields played in at Ohio State and much of his tape showed up on Saturday. People are going to think that Justin Fields is a running quarterback after he ran for 30 yards and a touchdown, but really he’s a pocket passer that can run.
Fields likes to sit in the pocket and wait for things to develop. A knock on Fields coming out is that he processes slowly and doesn’t anticipate as well as scouts would have liked. I don’t think that is true whatsoever, I feel like Fields knows he is usually the best player on the field and he is looking to take deep shots. If that’s not there he knows he can run. The dude runs a 4.4 forty. He’s 6’3 and 225 pounds. He’s an incredible athlete. In time, Fields will chill in the pocket more and continue to develop. For now, he will look for his first or second read and if it’s not there he’s bouncing.
That is is why I like young QB’s that can move. In 2021, the speed of the NFL is incredible. There are defensive lineman running 4.6 forties. Young QB’s need time to process the speed, the coverages, and anticipate where their pass catchers will be. If Bears fans were excited about what Fields did Saturday, wait until the middle of the year when he starts destroying teams with only his arm. He has an incredible deep ball and his ball placement is one of the best in a stellar 2021 QB class.
Justin Fields is going to be great. His greatness was on full display. It was the moment every Bears fan has waited for since Fields name was announced at the NFL Draft. All I can say is just wait. Wait until the Bears can fully game plan for an opponent. Wait for the Bears to need a two-touchdown comeback and Fields at the helm. Justin Fields is great at football, his arm, his touch, his poise in the pocket aren’t new. This is who Justin Fields is and his greatness will be on full display soon enough.
2. The Offensive Line
The offensive line is going to be a work in progress all year, especially at the tackle position. But on Saturday, I was impressed with the play of all the offensive linemen. The Bears gave up zero sacks and although it is preseason, that is something to build off of. At this point, who knows the status of Teven Jenkins. Larry Borom didn’t suit up either although Borom should be good to go against the Bills next weekend.
The Bears were without Germain Ifedi, Teven Jenkins, James Daniels, and Borom and they played well. Zero sacks and very few pressures. Even the run game looked solid with Damien Williams and Khalil Herbert. Herbert looked great in this game. He showed the juice and pop on display in his college tape and he was able to show off his field flipping speed. I personally love Herbert as a prospect and I feel this is the strongest the Bears RB room has been in a long time.
The offensive line will struggle this year but Saturday’s game was a great sign this unit doesn’t have to be spectacular in order to post solid offensive numbers. Andy Dalton will be the starter (at least for game one) and in that game against the Rams, the offensive line will have to be ready for Aaron Donald and company. The Rams can get after the QB. Whenever Fields come in he will help the offensive line because of his athleticism and being able to move in the pocket. Until then this offensive line needs to get healthy and play as well as they did on Saturday for the Bears offense to take flight.
3. The Defense
Again, preseason but the defense looked great. Tua Tagovailoa was solid but not spectacular. He was efficient but the Bears were able to come away with an end zone takeaway against Tua and the Dolphin starters. The Bears also had a goal-line stand that fired up the Soldier Field Faithful.
Newly acquired Alec Ogletree looked great. He was aggressive. He was around the ball and he made tackles. There was a play where he did get burned by Mike Gesicki but Ogletree bounced back and was essential to the goal line stand that ensued. If Danny Trevathan isn’t careful Ogletree may take his job. He is a former first-round player that has bounced around a bit but if he can show the type of playmaking ability he has flashed his first week with the Bears, he will make the roster and could start next to Roquan Smith.
Overall I thought the defense looked great. They were fast, flying around and they looked excited. I believe this unit can be a top-ten defense this year. Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack need to stay healthy and the backend needs to develop in a hurry but this is a unit that still has a ton of talent and can make offenses pay for their mistakes. I love what I saw from Sean Desai’s group on Saturday and I hope that will continue moving forward.
The Bears Played Well
The Bears came out with a victory, which is meaningless in the preseason. The biggest success is leaving a preseason game without injuries. However, the aesthetic looked good. Their rookie quarterback looked like the best player in the game. The offensive line held up and did their job. The Defense was full of energy, flying around, making plays, and pumping up Bears fans dying for a winning product. It was a good day. Another step toward the full course meal of the regular season. This Bears roster is solid, not great. But for the first time in maybe forever, the Bears seem to have their 15 year quarterback that will elevate the entire time. The anticipation is killing all of us but soon enough the Bears will be back and Saturday’s preseason game was a great first step.