Winner, winner, Bronco dinner?
It sounded a lot better in my head. Anyway, in case you went to bed last night. The Chicago Bears actually came back to beat the Denver Broncos 24-23 on Saturday. It was an eventful preseason game, to say the least.
There was a bit of everything from injuries, to turnovers and penalties. Lots and lots of penalties. That’s expected out of a preseason game though. For the Bears, there was some good, some bad. Here I will give my four takeaways from Saturday’s contest. Let’s get into it.
1. Injury Bug
I’m going to go ahead and blame everyone who was saying how healthy the Bears were all training camp for the injuries the team suffered on Saturday night. Both Adam Shaheen and Leonard Floyd left the game because of injuries.
Shaheen made a catch and was running down the sideline. His ankle seemed to twist awkwardly on his way down. He did get off to the sideline under his own power, but was, eventually, carted off the field.
While the Bears are deep at the tight end position, losing Shaheen for an extended would hurt for multiple reasons. First off, it would hurt his own progression. He had a big learning curve as a rookie last season. Last week against the Bengals it looked like things were finally starting to click for the 23-year-old.
As for Floyd, he left the game with some kind of hand injury. I don’t need to go into detail about how important having Floyd is for the Bears defense in 2018. If he were to miss anytime, Vic Fangio’s unit would have a major disadvantage.
After the game, head coach Matt Nagy said that he didn’t think either player suffered a fracture. While that is encouraging, we won’t know much until Sunday afternoon or Monday.
Bears coach Matt Nagy says he doesn’t think Leonard Floyd (hand) or Adam Shaheen (ankle) suffered fractures but testing tomorrow will confirm that.
— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) August 19, 2018
2. Trey Burton is going to be huge
When talking about young quarterbacks, we often hear of analysts talking about them having security blankets. In other words, reliable pass catchers. It seems as if Trey Burton has filled that role with Mitch Trubisky.
On Saturday, Burton caught four passes for 45-yards and a touchdown. He clearly is going to be Nagy’s version of Tavis Kelce in Chicago. Believe it or not, there were some concerns after the Bears signed Burton in free agency.
His sample size was small. Burton was only targeted 31 times last season. Yet, he still finished the year with five touchdowns. He’s going to be a top 10 tight end this year, and his usage so far this preseason supports that claim.
Through two preseason games, Trey Burton‘s usage has been very promising:
• On-field for 92% of #Bears first-team pass plays
• Targeted on 6-of-18 Trubisky throws (33%)
• 47% of routes split out in slot; Travis Kelce’s slot rate was 50% last year under Nagy
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) August 19, 2018
3. Kevin White
Former first-round draft pick Kevin White didn’t do anything spectacular on Saturday, but he made some positive plays that should help his confidence. He helped keep a drive alive after adjusting on an underthrown ball and getting the DB to run into him.
White also caught two passes for 15-yards. He also showed off his quick agility skills after racking up some nice YAC (yards after catch). Hell, he even lined up in the backfield on one play. As long as White is healthy, the Bears are going to find ways to get him involved.
4. Kasim Edebali continues to play well
Last week, linebacker Kasim Edebali stood out to me after re-watching the game. He did a lot of things right on the field. That didn’t change on Saturday night, where Edebali made a strong case to get even more playing time next week when the Bears take on the Chiefs.
Edebali is a journeyman, having played with the Broncos, Lions, and Saints before coming to Chicago. The 29-year-old added another sack to his resume against his former team.
Kasim Edebali sack. Nice move. pic.twitter.com/pysCX6IcnL
— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) August 19, 2018
Floyd and Sam Acho are locks as of right now to be on the roster, but if Edebali keeps playing with this kind of effort, the Bears are going to have no choice but to keep him around.
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