Bears vs. Ravens: What mattered, what worked and what didn't

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Bears cornerback Doran Grant celebrates an interception against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half of the Pro Football Hall of Fame NFL preseason game Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Canton, Ohio.

    Chicago Bears cornerback Doran Grant celebrates an interception against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half of the Pro Football Hall of Fame NFL preseason game Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Canton, Ohio. Associated Press

 
By Kyle Nabors
profootballweekly.com
Updated 8/2/2018 10:20 PM

Breaking down the Bears' preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens in Canton, Ohio:

Three moments that mattered

 

1. The main highlight will come with his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday evening, but Brian Urlacher received a nice ovation before Thursday's game.

2. We got our first look at the NFL's new helmet rule, and the results were mixed. The Ravens were properly flagged twice, but the penalty on Bears defensive back Nick Orr was a head-scratcher. The last thing the NFL needs is more ambiguity with its rules. It's worth noting Orr was flagged for unnecessary roughness, not a helmet violation, but it was still a terrible call.

3. Speaking of ambiguity, DeAndre Houston-Carson came away with an interception in the first half even though the football may have hit the ground. Officials allowed the play to stand after review. Maybe the league finally learned its lesson about reversing calls on borderline plays?

Three things that worked

1. Getting pressure. Isaiah Irving, Roy Robertson-Harris, Jonathan Bullard and Kylie Fitts all made their way into the Ravens' backfield. It might not have been against starters, but it's a positive sign for a defense that struggled to rush the quarterback last season.

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2. Finding Javon Wims. The rookie wide receiver flashed some upside in the second half. Wims, a seventh-round pick, showed his ability to win jump balls with a nice catch down the left sideline.

3. Staying healthy. The Bears held out nearly every notable name, which is understandable with four preseason games still to go. There were no major injuries among the players who did see action. Even Kevin White managed to come away unscathed.

Three things that didn't

1. Bennie Fowler's hands. The wide receiver is fighting for a roster spot, and he didn't do himself any favors with a pair of drops, including a would-be touchdown, in the first half.

2. Chase Daniel's aim. It's possible to put the blame on tight end Dion Sims for Daniel's second interception -- Sims did shift right at the last moment -- but the first pick was squarely on Daniel. Tossing the football off the top of your lineman's helmet isn't a great look.

3. The game itself. Asking teams to play a fifth preseason game is too much. If the NFL insists on playing the Hall of Fame game, it should at least consider shortening the quarters.

What's next?

The Bears return to Bourbonnais to continue training camp ahead of a trip to face the Cincinnati Bengals next Thursday.

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