Thursday, August 14, 2014
Observation Deck: Chicago Bears
By Michael C. Wright
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears' first-team offense scored points despite limited opportunities, but the No. 1 defense gave up a pair of field goals and a touchdown in three consecutive Jacksonville Jaguars possessions, forcing the home team to rally late to best the Jaguars 20-19 on Senorise Perry's 5-yard run with 51 seconds left to play.
Here are some other thoughts on Chicago's second preseason game:
Chicago's first-team offense played just two series as Jacksonville dominated time of possession in the first quarter (12:30 to 2:30), but Jay Cutler put together another sharp showing, hitting seven of nine passes for 75 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 138.4.
Credit the offensive line for Cutler's performance. With starting right tackle Jordan Mills out, Michael Ola filled in on an offensive line that routinely gave Cutler plenty of time to drop back, read and fire to the open man.
"The offensive line is playing at a really high level," Cutler said. "We want to get the running game [going] a little bit better than we did early on. We went three-and-out. Then, we kind of had to wait around a long time. We came back, converted some third downs. The offensive line gave me a lot of time."
The battle for the No. 2 job at quarterback between Jimmy Clausen and Jordan Palmer might go to the wire. The Bears gave Clausen an extended look, yet he didn't capitalize on the extra snaps. Clausen completed 11 of 15 for 94 yards and an interception with no touchdowns and finished with a passer rating of 61.5 after lighting up the Philadelphia Eagles for a rating of 134.6 in the opener with a pair of touchdowns.
The No. 1 defense stumbled to a slow start, but Jacksonville's dominant time of possession in the first quarter played a role. The defense forced the Jaguars to settle for back-to-back field goals on their first two possessions. After Josh Scobee's second field goal of the opening quarter, Eric Weems fumbled the ensuing kick when he was stripped by Will Blackmon. Jacksonville took over at the Chicago 23 and scored in seven plays on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Chad Henne to Marqise Lee.
Henne and rookie Blake Bortles completed 19 of 27 for 237 yards and a touchdown in the first half.
Ryan Mundy and Danny McCray continued to take repetitions with the first-team defense.
Jon Bostic played poorly in the opener but redeemed himself somewhat against the Jaguars. On a third-and-1 from the Chicago 27, Bostic filled hard on a Toby Gerhart run around left end and took out the offensive tackle to drop the running back for a 4-yard loss. The play forced Jacksonville to settle for a 49-yard field goal.
The Bears want to remain patient with Shea McClellin as he transitions to linebacker, but his play against the Jaguars seemed just about on par with his shoddy showing last week. McClellin did stuff the run once early on but continues to struggle at shedding blocks and making tackles in space.