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Checking the Tape: Bears @ Colts

| August 21st, 2023

For the first time in the Matt Eberflus era, Bears fans were forced to swallow the bitter pill of preseason defeat as Chicago fell to Indianapolis 17-24 over the weekend. The tilt saw both teams rest nearly all of their starters and many of their reserves, but a loss is a loss — with something like that hanging over fans’ heads, it’s a miracle that anyone loyal to the team made it into work today.

But setting aside the sting of defeat, what did we learn about the roster this weekend? I dove into the game’s All-22 tape and went spelunking — here’s what I found:

Guarding our Hearts:

Ja’Tyre Carter picked a great weekend to have another great weekend — with reports that Tevin Jenkins has suffered a leg injury that may shelve him for up to 6 weeks, quality OL depth looks more valuable than ever.

Carter’s form looks great in pass protection, but he’s making his hay as a run blocker and looks forceful as he does — below is a great example of Carter’s handiwork, and as Lucas Patrick continues to miss time in Training Camp I’m curious to see which young lineman the Bears turn to as the next LG.

Dropping Anchor:

Zacch Pickens took a healthy step forward in his second NFL exhibition, but he did so in a way I didn’t see coming — I expected to see him utilize his length & first step to pressure the passer and knife into run gaps, but instead he dropped anchor twice on the goal line and stood up Colts double-teams on both sides of the defensive line. As the primary backup for Andrew Billings, Pickens couldn’tve shown off a more encouraging skill.

Click the clip below to see his 2nd rep in the replies — it’s impressive stuff from a rookie known to struggle doing exactly this in college. I’d like to see him win a few more reps in run defense this weekend before making any sweeping declarations, but in the meantime it’s nice to see the Bears helping their rookies hone key skills.

https://twitter.com/robertkschmitz/status/1693445818810781794

Breaking Down Bagent:

Tyson Bagent will be the subject for tomorrow’s (tonight’s) Dissecting a Drive, so I won’t go into too much detail here.

That said, I put together a quick breakdown on one of my favorite of Bagent’s throws — a simple quick screen that, upon further inspection, I think Tyson audibled into. Turn your sound on for this one:

Also, given that the Bears’ QB2 looked like this on Saturday Night, Tyson’s calm demeanor couldn’tve been a more welcome sight. He’s a very fun young player to watch.

I’ll update this article throughout the day, so stay tuned!

Your Turn: What stuck out to you during Saturday Night’s game?

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