The Bears wrapped up their second preseason game of the year, and by the time the final whistle blew there were arguably more questions than answers. It wasn't just on offense either. Uncharacteristic struggles on defense and special teams will need to be cleaned up in practice next week. So without further ado, here are the four big observations following the game.
FIELDS LOOKS LIKE “THAT DUDE,” AGAIN
The big question for Fields this week was, could he put together another impressive preseason performance, coming off a shaky week of practice? The answer: yeah, no problem. His final line, 9-19 for 80 yards, may not look pretty, but he wasn’t helped by a couple of drops. His best pass of the day was a 32-yard pass to Jesse James with a defender bearing down on him (James made a great catch on the play too). But most impressive was what Fields was able to do on the run. He showed off his incredible speed and downfield vision on several scrambles, and finished as the team’s top rusher with 46 yards on five carries. Now the question is, will he get first-team reps next week to show he can perform against a first-team defense?
TRUBISKY GETS REVENGE
Besides Fields’ follow-up performance, all eyes were on Mitchell Trubisky in his return to Soldier Field. While it’s hard to really deem a preseason match as a “Revenge Game,” Trubisky certainly put on a show against the Bears’ starting defense. Sure, the team was without Eddie Goldman, Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan, but Trubisky routinely found soft spots in the defense and hit the open man. One of his touchdown passes was a beauty as he rolled right, threw across his body to the left and hit his man in stride streaking across the endzone. He made a big play with his legs too, avoiding a sack then scrambling for an 11-yard gain. He finished 20-28 for 221 yards, with one touchdown and no turnovers.
Three of the Bills first four touchdowns could’ve been stopped had a Bears defender finished a tackle. But it wasn’t just on those specific plays, either. Players all across the defense whiffed on stops, which gave the Bill extra yards and extra downs in addition to the extra points. Sean Desai will have plenty of tape if he wants to make this a point of emphasis in next week’s practice.
SPECIAL TEAMS STILL SLOPPY
After a rough first week against the Dolphins, special teams coordinator Chris Tabor said he expected the unit to play better in Week 2. “Looking to improve (in open field tackling) is a big point of emphasis, and we’ll see if that pays dividends,” Tabor said earlier this week. But the Bears’ did not see a return on their investment on Saturday. They surrendered one touchdown on a line-drive punt from Pat O’Donnell. On another punt, the team gave up a decent gain after having the return man practically pinned along the sideline. Over the game the Bills averaged 29.4 yards on their five punt returns, including the 79-yard score. Cairo Santos had a kick blocked too, adding insult to injury.