Chicago Bears: 2013 preseason reaction Week 3
August, 24, 2013
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Maybe Jay Cutler, at least for the time being, put an end to the notion that he’s overly reliant on receiver Brandon Marshall.
Cutler completed 12 of 21 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown in the Chicago Bears' 34-26 win over the Oakland Raiders on Friday night, with none of those falling into the hands of Marshall, who dropped two balls and had another one knocked away by D.J. Hayden. In a little more than two quarters of action, Cutler produced a passer rating of 93.8, which would have been higher had his targets not dropped a total of five passes over the first two quarters.
But enough of all that. Let’s take a deeper look:
What it means: Even though the Week 3 game goes down as the most important game of the preseason, the Bears can’t put too much stock in their strong performance against what was clearly an overmatched Raiders team. The Bears operated efficiently in the passing game (3-of-6 on third down), and the rushing attack tore chunks (110 yards in the first half) out of Oakland. The offensive line protected Cutler well, allowing no sacks. Most importantly, the Bears finished the game without any starters going down to injury.
The Bears can walk away encouraged because of the way they executed what up to that point was the most extensive game plan of the exhibition season. Defensively, the Bears shut down the Raiders, holding them to 0-of-6 on third down in the first half, with Isaiah Frey and Tim Jennings picking off passes.
So Chicago’s starters ended the exhibition season on a high note, considering they won’t see any action in the preseason finale at Soldier Field against Cleveland.