As was the case in last week's preseason opener, the Bears opened the second half trailing, but Jimmy Clausen and his depth chart brethren rallied and finished things off in the 23-11 win over the Colts, to improve to 2-0 on the preseason.
The biggest post-intermission star was Jeremy Langford. The under-the-radar fourth-round draft pick was squarely on the radar on a pair of second half-opening touchdown drives. On a fourth consecutive carry, after gaining two tough yards on a third-and-1, Langford used his toolbox on a 46-yard run: strength, vision, balance, and second-level speed to help set up a Clausen 12-yard touchdown pass on third down to Josh Bellamy, who tightroped the sideline and dove in to cap off a 10-play, 88-yard drive and put the Bears on top for good, 16-11.
While Bellamy scored the touchdown, another wideout made a couple of important plays earlier: Northwestern product Rashad Lawrence, who had a 12-yard catch-and-run to get the Bears out from inside their own 10. He then took a quick toss from Clausen on the next play for a five-yard gain on third-and-3.
Lawrence would also deliver an important block early on the next scoring drive, allowing Cameron Meredith a 13-yard gainer. Important stuff in the wake of the Kevin White, Alshon Jeffery, and now Marquess Wilson injuries.
Langford was then the workhorse to finish the drive: runs of 15 and two yards to get the offense down to the Colts' 2-yard line. The rookie then bounced off would-be Colts tacklers at the line to spin outside and win a race to the end zone for a 23-11 lead. At that point, the Bears' rushing attack had 156 yards on 29 carries (5.4 average). Exactly the kind of production you only hope could translate into the regular season, albeit against a middle-of-the-pack Colts defense, playing its backups. Langford finished with nine carries for 80 yards.
Defensively, Sam Acho made an impact play for the second straight week, a strip-sack of Matt Hasselbeck while getting low and using leverage to beat a lineman, and the ball rolled into the arms of rookie Eddie Goldman, who had another positive showing throughout the night.
We mentioned Willie Young helping Will Sutton with a first half sack (which was credited fully to Sutton), and Lamarr Houston also saw his first game action since a serious injury of his own. He showed burst and explosiveness at outside linebacker - a little too much on an offsides call.
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David Bass had a sack and a pass defended, as well.
While it's preseason, I think most Bears observers are looking for steps in the right direction, week by week. Who knows how this game would've turned out if it were the regular season.
But the first-string offense and defense took those steps Saturday night, and the special teams was overall solid, establishing field position in the first half, and utilizing the running game to eat some clock. It sounds like a formula that'll work when it starts for keeps in three weeks. And the roster competition is on.