The third game of the NFL preseason is often considered a dress rehearsal for the regular season. Most teams play their starters sparingly in Game No. 4, while they often play into the second half in the second-to-last game of the practice season.
If the game they just played against the Kansas City Chiefs is any indication (which, in fairness, it may not be), the Chicago Bears have some work to do.
The Chicago Bears ‘ starters (most of them, anyway) were simply embarrassed by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half. The ugly numbers: Chicago ran 18 plays before halftime en route to being out-possessed by the Kansas City Chiefs , 21:54 to 8:06. Those 18 plays totaled 20 yards. That’s an average of 1.11 yards per play. They were out-gained 239-20. They totaled -7 (yes, negative 7) passing yards in the first half, and only 27 rushing yards.
They allowed the Chiefs to go on three drives of 10 plays or more, all of which ended in scores. Had Andy Reid not elected to kick two field goals from inside the 10-yard line, they might have totaled more than 13 points, too.
The final indignity showed up on the last two plays of the first half. After Spencer Ware was penalized 15 years for unsportsmanlike conduct on his touchdown celebration, the Chicago Bears got the ball on a short field with six seconds left in the half. They attempt to run a quick-hitting pattern to gain a few extra yards, but Jay Cutler threw the ball into the ground, missing a wide-open receiver by a mile.
On the next play, he was strip-sacked by Dontari Poe . The fumbled was recovered for a loss of 10 yards.
Things didn’t get much better after halftime. Cutler finally led a drive that entered Kansas City territory (as much as 4 of 8 for 25 yards can be considered “leading” a drive), but Robbie Gould missed a 48-yard kick that would have put the Bears on the board for the first time. The Chiefs came right back with another touchdown drive and, trailing 20-0, John Fox pulled the starters. Backup QB Brian Hoyer ‘s two drives resulted in a punt and a turnover on downs, and it was only thanks to a late touchdown pass by third QB Connor Shaw that the Bears managed a score.
The final: 23-7 Chiefs, but it wasn’t really as close as the score.
Here are xx more things to know about Saturday’s preseason action:
2. The Chiefs do more with less
Kansas City was missing several starters on both sides of the ball ( Jamaal Charles , Justin Houston , Tamba Hali , Eric Berry , Josh Mauga , and center Mitch Morse , who was ruled out shortly before the game), but their starters really took it to the Bears. Alex Smith was his usual efficient (20 of 30) but not very explosive (6.0 yards per attempt) self, though he did lead the Chiefs on the aforementioned three scoring drives.
Spencer Ware found the end zone with a short plunge and had four catches. Jeremy Maclin had five and Travis Kelce had three. Andy Reid’s crew mixed in some multi-tight end sets to get guys like Demetrius Harris and Ross Travis involved.
The defense may have looked even better than the offense. Derrick Johnson was flying all over the field, making plays in the backfield and near the line of scrimmage. Poe had a sack and another quarterback hit, and rookie Chris Jones practically took up residence behind the Bears’ offensive line. Marcus Peters , Steven Nelson , and Daniel Sorenson got help from a couple Chicago drops, but they held their own in coverage for the most part.
3. Bears quarterback Connor Shaw carted off
Shaw led the Bears on their only scoring drive of the afternoon, but suffered what looked to be a fairly serious injury on Chicago’s next possession. He was ultimately carted off the field after going 5 of 6 for 68 yards and a touchdown toss to Cameron Meredith .
Five more Week 3 games on are on tap for Saturday. Follow the scores here.
Source: CBS Sports / Chiefs stifle Jay Cutler and the anemic Bears offense: 3 NFL preseason takeaways