Where: Mile High Stadium
When: Saturday, Aug. 18, 8:00 p.m. CT
Line: Denver -3
The Chicago Bears have started off their preseason 0-2. Last week was technically their first “official” game of the 2018 preseason. This week things will get interesting considering the starters on both sides of the ball should play at least a quarter, if not more.
That should change on Saturday night. Here are some things to keep an eye on.
1st Down: Allen Robinson will play
After tearing his ACL during week one last season, Robinson will see his first action in an NFL game in almost a year on Saturday. He will give the first-team a new look, even if it’s just for a series or two. Again, last week was all around ugly. Hopefully, Robinson can take some heat off other pass catchers like Kevin White and Anthony Miller.
If Robinson can stay healthy, then the Bears have one of the best receivers in all of the NFL. With the Jaguars, the 24-year-old was one of the best vertical receivers in the game, but don’t sleep on his ability in the red zone. Since 2015, Robinson is tied with Antonio Brown for the most receiving touchdowns in the red zone with 18. He also missed 15 games last season.
Without the injury, Robinson could very well be the most productive wideout in the league when in the red zone. Look for him to get a few shots on Saturday.
2nd Down: Cody Whitehair at center
By now, most people know the dilemma that the Bears have with center Cody Whitehair. Last Thursday, he had a couple inaccurate snaps and that continued this week in the joint practices with the Broncos.
Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times reported that Whitehair was again having issues getting the ball to Trubisky, which was, in turn, throwing off the timing on certain throws. Things like that cannot continue to happen. This is why many people were lobbying for James Daniels to be the starting center with the first-team offense.
If Whitehair continues to struggle on Saturday, the Bears’ coaching staff is going to have a decision to make.
3rd Down: Will Kevin White show up?
Talking about Kevin White struggling feels like a broken record at this point. He had two golden opportunities to make plays last week against the Bengals and came up empty handed on both. Originally, White was a lock to make the roster. Things have changed.
If White cannot be a reliable pass catcher what’s the point of keeping him around? It’s not crazy to believe that Bears would take a Joshua Bellamy over White if Bellamy plays better in the last three preseason games. White needs to show something on Saturday night.
Nagy and his staff are going to give White plenty of opportunities. It’s up to him to make the most of them.
4th Down: Final Thoughts/Prediction
This will be the first-team offense’s second time getting out on the field this preseason. The hope is that they give us a little more than we got last week, which was all-around bad. The second or third string defense will also have a big challenge in facing former Ole Miss star QB Chad Kelly.
Its make or break time for some of the players on both rosters. We should see a fairly competitive game in, at least, the first half. Fire up the Bears +3. Trubisky and the rest of the first-team bounceback and the Bears get their first victory of the preseason.
Disclaimer: Yes, I am really betting on preseason football. No, I don’t have a problem.
Follow Nick on Twitter –Feature Photo Credit: AP