With just four days in between their 19-14 win over the Chiefs and Thursday’s game in Seattle, the Bears gave most of their regulars limited work at Lumen Field against the Seahawks. Second-year quarterback Justin Fields looked sharp for Chicago in his lone drive to begin the game. Fields strung together an opening drive that culminated in a field goal after he went 5-for-7 for 39 yards. The Bears improved to 2-0 in the preseason with a 27-11 win over Seattle.
Fields rolling out is a thing of beauty. @justnfields
— NFL (@NFL) August 19, 2022
Two of the starting quarterback’s pass attempts came on designed rollouts, including a 19-yard completion to tight end Cole Kmet. Last season, Fields had only 18 attempts on designed rollouts, and he completed 78% of those with two touchdowns. It’s apparent that offensive coordinator Luke Getsy wants Fields to be mobile whenever possible.
“The operation was good. His preparation was great,” Eberflus said of Fields after the game. “He handled the offense the way we wanted him to, had a nice drive and scored the field goal. It’s progress. And guys see more progress in practice sometimes, where his footwork is getting better, his delivery when he feels pressure, how he slides in the pocket and delivers the ball. So he’s improving every single day.”
Chicago won all three facets of Thursday night’s game. The offense looked its most consistent since 2018, the defense played well, and the special teams created several splash plays. If there is one area that still needs a lot of improvement, it’s the offensive line. Fields was under duress on just about every passing play.
The Bears’ defense struggled a bit against the run, too. The Seahawks ran the ball 19 times for 96 yards (5.1 yards per carry). Travis Homer ripped off a 33-yard run in which he made Kyler Gordon and several other Bears miss before being tracked down by Al-Quadin Muhammad.
Gordon made his Bears debut Thursday, playing exclusively in the nickel. He allowed one catch on two targets for 12 yards and received a 90.0 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus.
Starting DT Justin Jones didn’t suit up Thursday, so the Bears’ run defense was without its key three-technique and the Seahawks were able to push the defensive line around a bit at the point of attack.
Velus Jones Jr. had a 48-yard punt return in the first quarter, and Nsimba Webster looked great on a 58-yard kickoff return. Rookie Elijah Hicks scored a touchdown when he recovered a muffed punt return in the end zone. However, Dazz Newsome struggled in his only punt return attempt, turning the ball over after De’Montre Tuggle ran into him. That led to Seattle’s only touchdown of the game.
The Bears also lost an onside kick when Isaiah Coulter failed to hang on to the football after it bounced off his chest.
Why the Bears Won
Chicago was able to set the tone early to earn its second win in the preseason, while Seattle went the entire first quarter without getting a first down. Fields still hasn’t played with a number of projected starters. Running back David Montgomery and wide receivers Byron Pringle, N’Keal Harry, and Tajae Sharpe were among the players to sit out with injury Thursday. The second-year starter may not play at all in Chicago’s third and final preseason game next week.
During the third quarter, Seahawks running back Darwin Thompson recorded the highlight of the night when he hurdled cornerback A.J. Thomas in the red zone.
— NFL (@NFL) August 19, 2022
Stats That Matter
- The Bears had three sacks Thursday night, one each by Muhammad, Trevon Coley, and Sam Kamara.
- Trestan Ebner suffered an ankle injury of unknown severity. It remains to be seen if and how his ankle issue impacts his shot at making the 53-man roster.
- Ebner and Darrynton Evans were expected to share the backfield after Khalil Herbert took snaps in the first drive, and they did until Ebner exited. Evans finished with eight carries for 39 yards and a touchdown.
- The Bears lost two more linebackers to injuries. Current starter Matthew Adams went out with an unspecified injury and Caleb Johnson had a knee injury. They better sign Roquan Smith soon. Expect GM Ryan Poles to search the waiver wire for some help.
- The Bears had drives of 10, eight, six, and six plays to start the game. Teven Jenkins had a strong game in his first start at right guard. He was Chicago’s best offensive lineman on the night.
- Webster had a team-high four receptions for 25 yards, but he also had a really bad dropped pass.
- Chicago fumbled the football four times, but the drop by Newsome was the team’s only turnover. Neither team threw an interception.
- Jack Sanborn once again tied for the team lead with seven tackles, including five solos.
- Jones Jr. also had a 31-yard kickoff return.
- Cairo Santos made both of his field goal attempts, the longest a 47-yarder.
- Rookie punter Trenton Gill showed off his booming leg once again, averaging 45.4 yards on eight punts, the longest going for 61 yards. Gill also kicked off once, resulting in a touchback.
The Bears will have five practices and three scheduled off days before their final preseason game against the Browns on August 27. Eberflus said the coaching staff still is determining whether Fields will play in that game and they’ll weigh the pros and cons of such an appearance.