Last night, the Bears defeated the Eagles 34-28 in the first preseason game. To follow up from our 6 Things to Watch For, we take a look at the 6 things we saw.
1. Shea McClellin – McClellin played his first NFL game at linebacker after spending the last 2 seasons at defensive end. McClellin struggled all night vs the Eagles in the run game and against the pass. McClellin isn’t a lock to make the team if he continues to struggle like he did last night.
2. Jimmy Clausen vs. Jordan Palmer – Both Clausen and Palmer saw a lot of playing time last night. Clausen looked like the quarterback that the Panthers thought they drafted in 2010. Clausen was 7 for 13, with 150 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions with a 134.6 QB rating. Palmer faced a tough pass rush, but still finished going 8 for 11, with 104 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception with a 94.5 QB rating. Clausen looked better than Palmer last night and I would expect him to get 2nd team reps this week. But in reality, I hope neither of them sees the field this year after the way Jay Cutler played last night.
3. Defensive Line – The defensive line was without Jared Allen last night as his wife gave birth to their 2nd daughter earlier this week, but you wouldn’t have known he was missing by the pass rush the Bears had. Newcomers, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, applied pressure forcing Nick Foles to throw an interception to Ryan Mundy. The Bears later forced Foles to throw another interception to Sherrick McManis, matching his total number of interceptions in 2013. The Bears also held the Eagles to 76 total yards rushing although the Eagles 2nd team did have 2 rushing touchdowns. It was a good start for the Bears, especially considering the defensive line in 2013.
4. Jonathan Bostic vs. DJ Williams – In yesterday’s article, I mentioned how I expect this battle to go until the 3rd Preseason Game and after watching last night, I still feel that way. Neither made any spectacular plays to stand out. Who knows, the loser of this battle may end up starting at SLB.
5. #3 WR – Eric Weems played as the #3 WR with the 1st Team, but did not play particularly well. He had 0 catches on 2 targets. Chris Williams had 2 catches for 78 and a touchdown. One of those catches was for a 73 yard touchdown that Jimmy Clausen hit him in perfect stride. Williams however, left the game early with a strained hamstring. Josh Morgan looked good with 2 catches for 36 yards. It will be interesting still to see if another receiver is brought in.
6. Martellus Bennett – The big question was, will Martellus Bennett play? The answer was no. However, the Bears looked to have found a steal in Zach Miller. Miller in his his 5th NFL season after spending the last 4 seasons in Jacksonville. He has 4 career touchdowns, but had 6 catches for 68 yards and 2 touchdowns last night. The Bears have been unsure if they had any depth at tight end after Bennett, but Miller showed last night that he is capable.
The Bears return to Training Camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL on Sunday, August 10th at 3pm.