The 2018 Chicago Bears wasted little time getting on the scoreboard:
BEARS ARE GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS BABY pic.twitter.com/6N5ozrjWPv
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) August 3, 2018
Clearly, they were all geeked up thanks to Brian Urlachers pre-game pep talk:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 2, 2018
If that doesn’t give you chills or hit you right in the feels, something is wrong with you.
- I got a kick out of a fullback catching the first touchdown of the Matt Nagy era. A fullback was used on just 17.5 percent of the Chiefs’ offensive snaps last season, so Michael Burton running a pattern and hauling in a touchdown pass on the team’s second offensive possession was a fun, quirky thing.
- The Chicago Tribune reports that Thursday’s Hall of Fame Game wasn’t anything close to a sneak preview of what’s coming down the pipeline. I hope you weren’t expecting Nagy and the minds behind the Bears offense to play it free and easy last night. As expected, the Bears’ offense played it close to the vest, but I was totally feeling the number of passes thrown early and how often the offense was running out of the shotgun. Let’s just say it was a much-needed different look.
- With Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen sitting this one out, Benny Cunningham was the Bears’ feature back on Thursday. And for what it’s worth, he ran with a burst. The folks over at Pro Football Focus certain took notice:
A look at Benny Cunningham's performance in the first half. pic.twitter.com/1UQUFf0pTb
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) August 3, 2018
- It was no surprise Mitch Trubisky didn’t play (Howard mentioned it the other day) and while QB1 still has some work to do, there was no sense in risking injury in the first of five preseason games. No, the Bears aren’t going to put Trubisky in bubble wrap until Week 1 against Green Bay … but playing their starting quarterback for any meaningful snaps on Thursday would have been reckless.
- In case you missed the opening moments of the broadcast, this was the starting offensive line working in front of Chase Daniel, who started in place of Trubisky: Bradley Sowell (left tackle), Jordan Morgan (left guard), Eric Kush (center), Earl Watford (right guard), and Rashaad Coward (right tackle).
- It was good to see Kush (in his first action since tearing his hamstring during the preseason in 2017) get reps as center as to show off his versatility. It was also sensible to have him start at center with Daniel at quarterback, seeing that the two worked together in Kansas City in 2013 and 2014. Familiarity with the system can be a valuable learning tool, so I hope Trubisky and Cody Whitehair were taking notes.
- Rashaad Coward held his own as a starting right tackle. Not bad for a guy who was on the other side of the ball as a nose tackle at this time last year.
- Speaking of defensive linemen, Bilal Nichols caught the eye of Greg Gabriel. In Gabriel’s notes at 670 The Score, the long-time scout noted Nichols’ solid showing (four tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss) and sees him as someone who can earn a spot on the season-opening 53-man roster as the sixth defensive lineman.
- As Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times notes, this whole thing has a long way to go before we can come with some grand takeaways.
- Earlier Thursday, I jumped on 92.9 ESPN Radio in Memphis to talk some Bears before the game. You can check out the podcast here for an audio treat.
- We really wanted to see Anthony Miller get in on the action, but the Bears holding him out of the game says a lot about what they think his future will be with this team. In a way, that was encouraging. I suppose the same could be said for Kevin White, who was usually close to Trubisky whenever NBC’s cameras panned to the Bears’ starting quarterback. That’s someone White should be close to and working with often in order to build a rapport. On the other hand, White could use all the game-action he can get at this stage of his career. Hopefully, the Bears have a steady amount of snaps in store for him moving forward.
- Even though Miller didn’t get to play, he did get a chance to meet an icon at his position:
From idol to mentor. pic.twitter.com/Qr3K19qZNF
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 3, 2018
- The Athletic’s Dan Durkin circled rookie safety Nick Orr’s unnecessary roughness penalty, but not necessarily for the play Orr made. Orr’s penalty was one of four penalties enforcing the league’s new helmet rule that were flagged. I counted four of those such calls being made last night, which is alarming if you remember that Troy Vincent said that after reviewing 40,000 plays in 2017, only three would have been penalized under the new rule. So to have four in a preseason game is a problem, one that could leak into the regular season and impact meaningful games. Not quite what the league had in mind when it came to a new rule.
- One preseason game down, four more to go. Breathe in, breathe out. We have a long way to go, too.