Across The Middle: Preseason Week Two

| August 17th, 2016

When the Bears were fighting with themselves, I thought it was annoying. Now that we’re seeing them get one of the most disciplined teams in the NFL to lose its cool, I think the Bears just might be developing an identity.

The Bears are going to be scrappy, just like the defenses Fox built in Carolina and Denver. They’re going to push the envelope and they’re going to frustrate their opponents.

And it just might be great.

There is a thin line to walk. The Bears certainly don’t want to be known as a “dirty” team like Jim Schwartz’s Lions were. There certainly is a point where the personal foul penalties get to be too much, but if they can continue to be aggressive and scrappy, they’re going to be the team nobody wants to play. If they keep adding talent, they’re going to be the team hardly anyone can beat.

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Thoughts on the Fourth Preseason Game:

| September 4th, 2015

On the offensive side…

• It’s gonna be a little difficult to cut David Fales now. After a slow start, Fales looked pretty good. Of course, you have to consider who he was going against, but he threw the ball well and moved well out of the pocket. He probably isn’t going to be a starting quarterback, but it’s hard to find even adequate backups and Fales has that potential. What do they have to lose by keeping him around? Is there really that big of a difference between Fales and Jimmy Clausen?

• Not playing Zac Dysert until late in the game makes sense if the Bears know what they have and he has a roster spot locked up. If not, why sign him in the first place?

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Whew…It was just a preseason game

| August 23rd, 2014

  •  In 2013, the Detroit Lions beat the New England Patriots 40-9, the St. Louis Rams led the Denver Broncos 20-10 at halftime and Seahawks star Russell Wilson threw two interceptions as his team struggled to move the ball, heading into halftime tied 3-3 with the Packers. Those were all the supposedly important third preseason games. See what I’m getting at there?
  • Seattle is better than the Bears right now. They’re better than everybody right now. Who was the best team three weeks into preseason last year? Not Seattle, New England or Denver. The season is long, a lot will happen between now and January.

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Thoughts Entering the supposedly important Third Preseason Game

| August 22nd, 2014

I’ve already written about the importance — or lack of importance — of tonight’s game in the grand scheme of things, but there are a few things that are worth watching:

  •  If, when and how long does Santonio Holmes play? Are they going to throw him in with the starters as the third receiver right away? Does he still have to beat Josh Morgan out? Then, of course, how does he look? Will we see some of the explosiveness he showed early last season or in his days with the Steelers? Holmes has a chance to be a big part of what the Bears do this season. The Bears need to find out if he’s up to the challenge as soon as possible.

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“Who the hell takes the third game in the preseason like it’s bullshit?”

| August 22nd, 2014

When former Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green went on that rant, he created a rallying cry for those who put a lot of stock in preseason, but it’s still debatable if he’s right.

I’ll agree that the third preseason game is the most important of the preseason games, but the main goal is still just to escape healthy.

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Improved Red Zone D Would be a Good Start for Bears

| August 18th, 2014

The 2014 version of the Chicago Bears defense looked much like the 2013 version in their last preseason game against the Jaguars, but the fact that they didn’t break could be a good sign for this season.

Technically, the Bears did break once, but we all know that was bull. The Jaguars started their third possession at the Bears 23 and the drive seemed to be stopped when Trevor Scott sacked Chad Henne on third down, but Kelvin Hayden was called for a bogus illegal contact penalty. (The excuse was that the NFL referees have “points of emphasis” in preseason, but it’s hard to see how a receiver running into a defensive back can be a penalty on the defense no matter what the case is. The sack would’ve forced the Jaguars into a long field goal attempt. Josh Scobee is an excellent kicker, but kicks over 50 yards in Soldier Field are another story.)

Prior to that, the Bears held the Jaguars to field goal attempts after Jacksonville had a third-and-1 on the Bears 27 on their first drive and a first-and-goal at the Bears 7 on their second.

Preseason is basically just a glorified practice, maybe we shouldn’t put any stock into anything that happens, but there are reasons to think that the Bears can be a “bend but don’t break” defense.

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