Three and out: What mattered, and what didn't, in Bears vs. Broncos
Breaking down the Bears' preseason win against the Broncos on Saturday night in Denver:
Three moments that mattered:
1. Leonard Floyd left in the first quarter with a left hand injury. It didn't appear to be serious, but any injury for Floyd is a concern. Not only is the former first-round pick developing a lengthy injury history, the Bears are also dangerously thin at pass rusher.
2. Yes, referees are intentionally throwing questionable flags as the NFL tries to sort out its new helmet rule. No, the first-quarter penalty on Kyle Fuller was not close to violating that rule. Fans will be up in arms if anything close to that is flagged during a game that matters.
3. Kevin White beat Isaac Yiadom down the left sideline and drew a 37-yard pass interference flag late in the first quarter to set up the Bears' first touchdown. White showed a nice burst, and at this point, we're looking for any positives from him.
Three things that worked:
1. Targeting Trey Burton. The Bears handed the tight end a large sack of money during free agency and he showed why he's worth the investment against Denver. An inside screen, split out wide, coming across the formation, Burton showed he's ready to be a No. 1 tight end.
2. Roy Robertson-Harris. All signs point to the Bears once again struggling to generate a pass rush from the edge, which means they'll need help from the interior. Robertson-Harris continued to show Saturday that he's capable of getting to the quarterback.
3. Being aggressive with Mitchell Trubisky. The second-year QB's performance was a bit uneven, but there were some positives to take away. The most important was Matt Nagy's willingness to let Trubisky try to make plays. Trubisky attempted several difficult throws, including the deep ball to White and a terrific pass to Anthony Miller. There will be bumps in the road, but at least the training wheels are off.
Three things that didn't:
1. The offensive line. OK, it wasn't all bad from the starters. Kyle Long and Eric Kush did a nice job blocking downfield on a long screen play to Tarik Cohen, but there were still too many errors. Charles Leno was flagged for a hold on the first drive. The line failed to pick up an inside blitz on the second drive, and then Bobby Massie was called for a false start.
2. Making long field goals. Maybe the Bears just aren't meant to find a kicker who can make a 50-yarder? The position has been a problem since Robbie Gould was sent packing. Cody Parkey has already missed two attempts from 52 yards this preseason.
3. A QB sneak. It worked, but it's not a fantastic idea to use your franchise QB like that in the preseason. Plus, the O-line could really use the practice run blocking in short-yardage situations.
After three road games to start the preseason, the Bears finally head home to Soldier Field next Saturday for the dress rehearsal with a noon kickoff against the Kansas City Chiefs.
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