It’s just preseason, I know. However, considering the beat down put on the Chicago Bears by the Philadelphia Eagles in last season’s 55-11 embarrassment in Week 16, the Bears’ starters came out ready to play and were simply fantastic in their first quarter of action.
The Bears kicked off to start the game. On Philadelphia’s first possession, Nick Foles was forced into an interception. The defensive line put consistent pressure on the majority of his dropbacks, as the pass rush looked much improved from last season.
On the offense’s first series following that INT, the Bears weren’t able to do much at all, and Robbie Gould had an easy field goal blocked. However, their next possession would be brilliant.
Following a three-and-out that included three penalties on Philadelphia’s offense, the Bears took over at their own 31. That’s when Jay Cutler and the Bears’ offense took off.
Cutler would go 8-for-11 on the drive for 83 yards and capped it off with a beautiful pass between two defenders in the end zone to tight end Zach Miller. During the drive, Chicago’s passing game converted three third-and-longs, including that 10-yard touchdown pass. They were efficient and looked much more talented than an Eagles team that made them look silly at the end of the 2013 season.
Not only did the Bears take a 7-0 lead there after a drive that took 6:31, but they intercepted Foles yet again on the next defensive series. Trevor Scott put pressure on Foles and a poorly-thrown ball went right into the arms of Sherrick McManis.
So in two possessions, the first-team offense scored a touchdown on a long drive and would’ve had 10 points had a rare blocked field goal not occurred. In three defensive series, the first-team defense had two interceptions, forced a three-and-out and also had three penalties committed against them by the Eagles’ offensive line.
Again, I know it’s only preseason, but it’s not like the Eagles weren’t trying. The Bears came ready to play and just looked like the much better team.
All throughout training camp, coaches and players have been raving about how great the team looks so far, and everyone knows the expectations on them. But every team talks about how improved it appears — it’s all essentially meaningless talk, unless you back it up in the games. Tonight, the Bears backed up the hype.
They obviously need to keep that going and show it again and again in the next two games, as they’re the most important ones for evaluating the starters during the preseason. Nevertheless, it’s a great start.