For most teams in the NFL, the third game of the preseason is a dress rehearsal for the regular season. All starters typically play until halftime and sometimes, into the third quarter. The Chicago Bears are not like most teams in the NFL, however.
They will keep their most important players out of the preseason all together. Why? Health. Last year, the Bears weren’t so fortunate in the preseason with injuries during games. Both Leonard Floyd and Adam Shaheen suffered significant injuries in a meaningless football game.
Head coach Matt Nagy is changing the trend and it’s so, so refreshing. He isn’t playing any of his important players, at all. Instead, the Bears have done a few live scrimmages against each other in a controlled environment in order to reduce the risk of injury.
Matt Nagy confirms he’ll take the same approach with his starters this week against the #Colts.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) August 21, 2019
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
So far, so good. Unless you planned on watching the Bears starters against the Colts.
People who say the preseason is useless are stupid. I know, I know kind of a hot start.
Is the preseason completely useless? No, in fact, it can help identify talent. Take WR Javon Wims last year. He balled out in the preseason catching 15 passes for 227 yards and a TD.
Similar to last year, the Bears will play mostly a vanilla version of their offense and defense. The starters will also see a very limited amount of action…if any. It worked for the team last year, so if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Still, there will be things to keep an eye this preseason.
1st Down: Chase Daniel bounce back?
The Bears second and third-string offense have been ugly so far this preseason. Tyler Bray has looked awful, which is kind of expected, but second-string QB Chase Daniel has looked bad as well. In two games, Daniel has completed 23 of 31 passes for 223 yards and no TDs or INTs.
What doesn’t show in the stat sheet is Daniel overthrowing receivers, and also fumbling, dropping snaps.
This is your Chicago Bears backup quarterback, Chase Daniel. pic.twitter.com/Vvhg9IzlnU
— Ryan Heckman (@RyanHeckmanFS) August 17, 2019
Daniel hasn’t had a great preseason, but he’s still a decent backup that went 1-1 for the Bears last season. Let’s pump the breaks on all the hate. There aren’t 32 above average starting quarterbacks in the NFL, let alone backups. Daniel knows the system and has been a good mentor for Mitchell Trubisky.
The Bears should have Daniel out there, for at least, a half of football. Look for him to bounce back, especially if WRs Javon Wims and Riley Ridley play.
2nd Down: The Eddy Pineiro show
The Bears’ kicker position is filled…for now. It looks like Eddy Pineiro will have the next two weeks to prove himself to be the Bears starting kicker in 2019. It’s hard to feel good about the move, considering that the Bears have been VERY involved in the kicker market this offseason.
There was also a great story that came out this week about the Bears’ strange strategy for finding a kicker. I had a thread on the situation, check it out here.
— Nick Petro (@PetroTLS) August 21, 2019
Pineiro is going to get all the kicks on Saturday. Hopefully, there are a ton of field goal attempts. It’s still crazy to me that this has been such a major storyline this offseason, training camp and preseason. Not crazy because obviously, Cody Parkey missed that kick, but who would have thought the Bears and their fans would care this much about the kicker situation, shoutout Robbie Gould.
— Nick Petro (@PetroTLS) August 16, 2019
Let’s also keep an eye on Joey Slye this week.
3rd Down: Will the Tight Ends show up?
No one tight end caught a pass last week for the Bears. The only TE that did much of anything was Bradley Sowell, who had two holding penalties. Outside of Trey Burton and Adam Shaheen, who is dicey at best, the Bears are thin at TE.
Ian Bunting has shown flashes, especially in the run game. Still, it looks like the TE depth chart will be Burton, Shaheen, and Ben Braunecker. If Sowell can just be average over the next two games, he’ll probably make the team too.
He’s a Matt Nagy guy and adds some versatility as a blocker and pass catcher. Let’s see if he can prove it on Saturday night.
4th Down: Preseason wrap up
This will be the last “Four Downs” article of the preseason. I will have a final 53-man roster projection article after the team’s fourth preseason game next Thursday. The Loop Sports social media accounts will also cover the game and my personal Twitter will have plenty of content.
Make sure you’re following accordingly.
Like Matt Nagy, we are focused on September 5th and the Green Bay Packers.
Nick is the editor-in-chief at TheLoopSports.com. He is also a Chicago Sports fanatic, avid sports bettor, fantasy sports nut, and totally didn’t try to sell his soul on eBay (which he’s still waiting to get back by the way). For more fun, follow him on Twitter @PetroTLS.