On Saturday night, rookie head coach Matt Nagy made an unconventional decision. That decision was to rest most, if not all of his starters in the team’s fourth preseason game of the year. For teams that didn’t play in the Hall of Fame game, however, this was the typical third preseason game where starters play at least a half.
There was a mixed reaction to the Nagy’s decision. Some felt that the first-team offense needed more reps to get ready for the Green Bay Packers. The people that didn’t like the decision quickly forgot how last year’s third game of the preseason went.
Cameron Meredith ended up missing the season because of an injury he sustained in the third preseason game. Besides a few injuries, the Bears are fairly healthy heading into week one. That is more important than any reps they would have seen on Saturday. Check out more about it here.
Upset about Coach Nagy sitting his starters for what is normally the dress rehearsal? @kdthompson5 reminds everyone that bucking the trend is exactly why Nagy was brought in. #Bears https://t.co/QmSqrO8WGq pic.twitter.com/Yc4Wbr4orT
— The Loop Sports (@TheLoop_Sports) August 25, 2018
The Bears also made the decision to start 2015 first-round pick, Kevin White. Clearly, White hasn’t earned the right to sit out with the rest of the first teamers. Here is a full look at the starters and inactive players for the Bears on Saturday.
Another notable starter was rookie James Daniels at center. Many of us have been calling him to be the starter with the first-team at center. It looks like for now, Cody Whitehair will start the season at that position.
Keep in mind that team performances don’t matter much in the preseason. If there is any value in the preseason, it’s with individual performances. Hell, even some individual performances should be taken with a grain of salt. Something to keep in mind as the month of August rolls on.
The Bears got off to a fast start against the Chiefs’ first-team defense. Taylor Gabriel made a nice catch, but the story of the drive was Chase Daniel and Benny Cunningham. Cunningham finished the drive with a nice touchdown run, but the lead didn’t last for long.
While the Bears sat their starters, the Chiefs did not. The misdirection that Nagy learned from Andy Reid was used heavily against the Bears on Saturday. The dangerous Tyreek Hill ran out of the backfield for a big gain. Later on, Kareem Hunt was uncovered, which led to a 19-yard TD reception.
Every Chiefs’ playmaker touched the ball on their opening drive. The good news? It was against some of the Bears second and third-team defense. Everyone knows about Patrick Mahomes ability as a passer, but on Saturday he showed his ability to see the blitz coming.
On the second drive of the game, Bears fans saw White score his first TD in a Bears’ uniform. He beat Orlando Scandrick on a nice double move. He basically walked into the end zone. While it wasn’t anything special, it was great to see White doing something positive to build up his confidence.
White wasn’t the only receiver making plays on Saturday. Javon Wims made some big plays on the Bears’ third drive. After a 53-yard reception, Wims made an acrobatic catch in the back of the end zone to make it a 21-10 game. Wims locked up a spot on the 53 man roster with his play on Saturday.
He caught four passes for 114-yards and an impressive TD catch.
Before the half, the Bears offense was on the move again. The one knock against the Bears offense in the first half was their inability to run the football. That led the Bears to finish their last drive before halftime with a field goal. Cody Parkey hit a 48-yarder to give the Bears a 24-10 lead.
Daniel finished the first half 15-18 for 198 yards and two touchdowns. To start the second half, the Chiefs kept their starters out on the field. Mahomes led the Chiefs on a long drive that took up most of the quarter. The Bears defense didn’t make it easy though.
Isaiah Irving was a force recording a sack and dialing up some pressure on a fourth down play that gave the Bears the ball back on downs. Given the Bears lack of depth at the edge rusher position, Irving’s strong play against the Chiefs was encouraging.
The second and third units for both teams were in from there. Kylie Fitts showed off some of his athletic ability, but other than that there wasn’t much going on with the Bears third-string players. Their final game this preseason will be Thursday against the Buffalo Bills.
Follow Nick on Twitter–Feature Photo Credit: Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune