The third preseason game is looked at as the “dress rehearsal” game where the team will go through it’s weekly routine as if it were a regular season game. They’ll game plan for their opponent, have positional meetings for the first time. With it, you get a glimpse of how the team will really look once the games actually count. The Bears had a solid opponent in the Tennessee Titans and this game offered a good look at where they stand. There were some positives and some negatives and some new questions that need to be answered after the game.
Let’s start with the positives…
Mike Glennon and the First team offense
Mike Glennon has not played well at all this preseason and the talks of Trubisky beating him out for the starting job were apparent. Glennon came out and offered a real example of why he was brought in and be the week one starter. He looked sharp leading the Bears on an impressive 15 play drive that started on their own four yard line. On that drive, Glennon completed seven of nine passes for 84 yards with a touchdown to Tight end Dion Sims.
Not only did Glennon look sharp, but the entire first team look good as they converted many third downs and got good protection from the Offensive line with Pro Bowl Guard Kyle Long being out. Solid showing from them.
I really believe that the Bears will have a very solid defense this season and they boast one of the toughest fronts throughout The NFL. Against the Titans, they brought good pressure and forced Mariota to make tough throws and errant passes. They didn’t allow the tough running game to get going and challenged the weak receiving corps. Still have some things they need to tighten up, mainly in the secondary but the outing was impressive.
Now the negatives..
Meridith was off to a good start in the game snagging a tightly contested reception for 28 yards. Then on his next reception he suffered a serious knee injury. The replay did not look good and many inside the Bears organization believe he will be lost with a torn ACL(Update: Meridith tore ACL and suffered a slight tear to his MCL) . A real tough blow for the Bears as he was their best receiver. The pressure will be on the rest of the group, especially Kevin White to show that they can carry the load.
He didn’t play and has been quiet ever since he was kicked out of practice for fighting teammates. He’s on target to play in the opener but how effective will he be? Is he recovered from the ankle injury, will he be mentally prepared to go?
To wrap up, The Bears won the game 19-7 and will finish their preseason against the Browns. We have a better idea of the identity of the Bears after this game. They’re going to be a tough defensive team with a strong run game with viable options in the passing game. With Meridith gone for the year, will those options be enough for Glennon/Trubisky to keep up with some of the more high powered offenses in the league? Not sure, but if they can control the ball and play at their pace, they will win a handful of games this season and hopefully surprise fans.