Chargers game review

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by riczaj01, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    http://www.hubarkush.com/2013/08/15/bears-chargers-1st-quarter-review/a4mjgkn/

    Bears-Chargers 1st quarter review
    By KEVIN FISHBAIN - kfishbain@shawmedia.com - Thursday, August 15, 2013 7:50 p.m. CDT
    We saw the Jekyll and Hyde act we’re so used to from this Bears offense in the first quarter..

    On the first drive, the O-line got abused: Matt Forte went down for a loss, Jay Cutler was stripped on second down and then sacked on third down.

    When they got the ball back, though, it was the Cutler-to-Brandon Marshall and Forte show. Cutler hit Marshall for two completions early in the drive, then on 3rd-and-1, Alshon Jeffery and Jermon Bushrod got great blocks on the outside, allowing Forte to bust a toss play for 58 yards.

    We’ve seen the Bears’ quarterbacks work on back-shoulder throws, and Cutler was looking for it on 1st-and-goal, when he hit Marshall for a touchdown. Marshall showed his strength to secure the ball against the Chargers’ corner.

    When Cutler got great field position after a Chris Conte pick for series No. 3, he threw an awful interception, trying to force the ball to Marshall. Donald Butler was right there for the pick.

    Here are some other observations from the first quarter of Bears vs. Chargers:

    • Interesting group of captains for the coin toss: Tim Jennings, Major Wright, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Slauson and Eric Weems.

    • Always pay attention to who is on the top special-teams units, as that’s how frings players make the roster. Your kickoff return team: Devin Hester, Jon Bostic, Khaseem Greene, Blake Costanzo, Craig Steltz, Tony Fiammetta, Tom Zbikowski, Anthony Walters and Steve Maneri.

    • On kickoff coverage: Weems, Costanzo, Walters, Steltz, Zack Bowman, Sherrick McManis, Bostic, Greene, Tom Nelson and Isaiah Frey.

    • Jordan Mills got pushed back on the play when Cutler fumbled, though fault to that goes to Martellus Bennett who was beat by Jarret Johnson. Mills also got beat on an outside rush by Dwight Freeney on Cutler’s pick, but Freeney hit the turf and it didn’t seem to affect Cutler.

    • Shea McClellin wasn’t doing much of anything off the edge in the first quarter, until he beat Max Starks outside and got a strip sack.

    • Tony Fiammetta and Steve Maneri were getting reps with the first team as extra blockers.

    • We still haven’t seen any receptions by Alshon Jeffery or Martellus Bennett, both of whom looked very good in training camp.

    • There was a nice chess match of audibles between Philip Rivers and Lance Briggs during the Chargers’ first drive that led to Stephen Paea blowing up a run play.

    • On Forte’s touchdown run late in the quarter, he went over the right side, with rookies Jordan Mills and Kyle Long doing their jobs, and Long got out in front for a lead block.
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  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Bears-Chargers 2nd quarter review
    By KEVIN FISHBAIN - kfishbain@shawmedia.com - Thursday, August 15, 2013 8:33 p.m. CDT
    The second quarter had much fewer fireworks than the first, with both teams moving to theirbackup offenses. The only Bears points of the quarter came on a pair of Robbie Gould field goals. The Chargers got a late touchdown on a run by Fozzy Whittaker.

    Here are some observations from the second quarter of Bears vs. Chargers:

    • Nate Collins picked up where he left off in last week’s game against Carolina, and all of camp, but sacking Philip Rivers. Collins pushed Nick Hardwick back, and Rivers stepped up right into the sack.

    • While the Chargers’ first-team offense didn’t get any points, Rivers did have some success finding players in the flat for a few solid gains.

    • The second-team offense kept Kyle Long and Jordan Mills on the right side of the line, with J’Marcus Webb and James Brown on the left. The right-side rookies played the whole first half.

    • Curiously, Taylor Boggs, who has not appeared in a regular-season game, was the second-team center. He has quietly had a nice camp, and got the nod over veterans Matt Slauson, Edwin Williams and Edwin Williams, all of whom have taken reps at center in camp.

    • Long has looked very impressive in his second NFL game, mainly showing off his strength on blocks and athleticism when pulling.

    • The second group of wide receivers included Eric Weems, Joe Anderson and Terrence Toliver, then Devin Aromashodu and Marquess Wilson on the outside with Weems in the slot.

    • Weems got the only catch of the second-team wideouts, finding a soft spot in the Chargers zone for a grab.

    • Fringe roster players Marquess Wilson, Brandon Hardin, Tom Zbikowski and Cornelious Washington joined the second unit on kickoff coverage.

    • Hardin still has work to do to pass Anthony Walters, who lined up as the second-team safety next to Craig Steltz.

    • Aston Whiteside was a beast at times during training camp in pass-rush drills, and he blew up a run play for a tackle in the backfield. Whiteside has versatility to play inside but certainly has work to do to make this squad.

    • Whiteside and Kyle Moore were the second-team defensive ends, with Corvey Irvin joining Collins at defensive tackle. Irvin, who had a nice game last week, got a fumble recovery on a botched snap.
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  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Bears-Chargers 3rd quarter review
    By KEVIN FISHBAIN - kfishbain@shawmedia.com - Thursday, August 15, 2013 9:31 p.m. CDT
    A long third quarter saw two Bears highlights from rookies: a Jon Bostic hit and a Michael Ford long kickoff return.

    On the Chargers’ first series, Bostic made a hit that could be felt in the northwest suburbs, laying out Mike Willie and forcing an incomplete pass.

    Based on how the league views the hit and if it’s interpreted that Bostic led with the crown of hishelmet, he could receive a FedEx this week, but it was the defensive highlight of the game.

    Ford, the backup kickoff returner and third-string back, showed off his patience and second gear by breaking a return 100 yards, all the way to the Chargers five-yard line.

    Here are other observations from the third quarter of Bears vs. Chargers:

    • Two potentially key injuries occurred when defensive tackle Covrey Irvin (ankle) and quarterback Matt Blanchard (left hand) left the game. Both are receiving X-rays. The Bears are already thin at defensive tackle, and if Blanchard has to miss time, would have to sign another quarterback.

    • Following Bostic’s hit, the Bears’ “D” made two more nice plays. Zach Minter and Kyle Moore got great penetration to force a throwaway, and Khaseem Greene helped snuff out a screen play on third down, forcing a punt.

    • Undrafted rookie Josh Lenz did himself no favors by badly fumbling on a punt return. In his second return, he protected the ball, but didn’t gain much.

    • Bostic, Kyle Long and Jordan Mills all got another series in the third quarter, and could have the most snaps on the team for tonight’s game — which would be good, since they need the most reps.

    • Undrafted rookie corner C.J. Wilson showed his physicality with a nice open-field tackle.

    • Wide receiver Terrence Toliver made a solid tackle of his own on kickoff coverage.
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    http://www.hubarkush.com/2013/08/16/bears-take-a-step-forward/aeptfql/

    Bears take a step forward
    By HUB ARKUSH - harkush@shawmedia.com - Thursday, August 15, 2013 10:22 p.m. CDT
    Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) points to the sky as he celebrate his touchdown with his teammates during the first half of the preseason NFLfootball game against the San Diego Chargers, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching) (Jim Prisching)
    CHICAGO – The trick to evaluating preseason football is to set very clear goals, grade players on their complete body of work, never over-react, and make sure you check the film before you start handing out grades.

    So, obviously, all you get here are some strong first impressions, and mine from preseason Game 2 are that the Bears had a pretty decent night in a 33-28 win over San Diego.

    My first impression came off the Bears' second possession after a disastrous start. This Bears team is going to be better on offense, regardless of what Head Coach Marc Trestman does, because for the first time in a long time it has multiple Pro Bowlers on the field. With talent like Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Jermon Bushrod and others, they are going to make plays.

    There was more good news for the offense. The experiment of starting rookies Kyle Long and Jordan Mills next to each other at right guard and tackle showed more than enough to merit another start for each in the all-important preseason game number three, where starting jobs will actually be won and lost.

    Here comes the cautionary tale, though. In spite of the hue and cry in the twitterverse to beginpreparing another Long bust for Canton, it still is an experiment with a long way to go. Extracting Matt Forte's 58-yard run, which neither of the rookies had anything to do with, the Bears offense managed exactly 86 yards on 27 plays in the first half, during which Long and Mills ran with the first and second team. That's a paltry 3.2 yards per snap.

    That obviously is not about just the rookie lineman, but who exactly did they dominate?

    The review of the film will show that both Long and Mills acquitted themselves well at times, and well enough to go the rest of the way. Long is clearly learning very quickly, but still has a long way to go with technique. Against the Chargers he was big, physical and nasty, and showed real promise.

    I was actually more impressed with Mills, because while he is a great deal more experienced than Long, I had no idea his technique is as solid as it is in so many areas. It will be very surprising if both don't start again in Oakland. While the film will show both also made plenty of mistakes, what could have been a real disaster was, in fact, a very pleasant surprise.

    The offense unfortunately also gave us one huge concern. The pick Jay Cutler threw to Donald Butler was inexcusable in any system and under any coach, a throw an NFL quarterback simply can't make. The man's an eight-year veteran, and I have no idea what Marc Trestman can do about it.

    Defensively, the goals against San Diego had to be to see how far the rookie linebackers have come, whether the Bears are good enough at end beyond Julius Peppers, and where depth at tackle and in the secondary will come from.
    Jon Bostic had another signature play, starting the second half by separating Charger receiver Mike Willie from the ball, and several body parts to boot, with a vicious but perfectly clean and timed hit. Very exciting stuff.

    But he also was caught going the wrong way and/or a step too slow in reacting multiple times in the first half. Khaseem Greene failed to take a step forward either, and was far less visible than last week. These two will not grade out as well as Long and Mills.

    Beyond that, Corey Wootton and Shea McClellin both had nice nights. A win there, but none of the backup tackles or DBs distinguished themselves.

    All things considered, it was a pretty good night, but just another small step.

    • Hub Arkush covers the Bears for Shaw Media and HubArkush.com. Write to him at harkush@shawmedia.com.
  5. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bears/post/_/id/4684715/rapid-reaction-bears-33-chargers-28

    Rapid Reaction: Bears 33, Chargers 28
    August, 15, 2013
    10:14 PM CT
    By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com
    Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastMatt Forte rushed for 74 yards, including a 58-yard run that set up the Bears' first touchdown.
    CHICAGO -- Chicago's starters dominated San Diego's No. 1's in the first quarter, scoring 14 points while limiting the Chargers to none as the Bears walked away with a 33-28 victory.

    Here are a few quick thoughts on the game:

    What it means: Progress that the Bears will be ecstatic about taking into their third preseason game, which is typically considered the dress rehearsal for the regular season. After a so-so performance in the exhibition opener against the Carolina Panthers, the Bears put on somewhat of a show offensively for the home crowd by scoring 14 points against San Diego's starters in the first quarter.

    In rolling up 100 yards in the quarter, the Bears gained six first downs, converted two of three third downs and finished the quarter with a 100 percent efficiency rating in the red zone. Jay Cutler was 4-of-5 for 38 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but it is somewhat concerning that he fired every one of those passes to Brandon Marshall.

    Defensively, the Bears sacked Philip Rivers twice and forced two turnovers in the first quarter, while limiting the Chargers to three first downs and a 33 percent conversion rate on third downs.

    OL picture clearer? Not really. Or maybe now it's crystal clear. Rookies Kyle Long andJordan Mills ratcheted up the difficulty for veterans James Brown and J'Marcus Webb to retain their starting jobs. Running with the starters for the first time this preseason, Long and Mills held down the right side of Chicago's line against San Diego's starters, and kept Cutler's jersey sparkling clean all night. Although Cutler suffered two sacks in the first quarter, neither of them came from pressure off the right side of the line.

    The telling moment for the rookies came near the end of the first quarter. Holding possession at the San Diego 11 with 1:32 remaining in the first quarter, the Bears handed off to Matt Forte three times in a row behind Mills and Long. With the rookies leading the way -- not to mention laying fierce blocks -- Forte gained 11 yards on those three carries, and capped a four-play scoring drive with a 3-yard touchdown that put the Bears up 14-0 after Robbie Gould's extra-point kick.

    Going into last week, Bears coach Marc Trestman said it was part of the plan to play Long and Mills with the starters against the Chargers. It appears those rookies might stick in the starting lineup, while Webb's roster spot could be in jeopardy given the fact the club has other alternatives at right tackle in veterans Eben Britton and Jonathan Scott.

    Speaking of the O-line: The group played fairly well for the limited amount of snaps the offense played in the first quarter. Sure, Cutler absorbed two sacks. The first came due to a missed block by tight end Martellus Bennett. Technically, Bennett is a member of the offensive line, but he wasn't considered among the team's concerns about pass protection coming into the game. The second sack Cutler absorbed came partially as a result of the quarterback holding the ball too long, but he also shuffled into his own linemen and San Diego's rush. On the play, both the right side and left side provided adequate protection.

    Forte gets going early: Forte chipped away at the notion he can't get it done on the goal line by running three times in a row from the 11 for gains of 6 and 2 yards before scoring on a 3-yard touchdown. The old regime seemed to believe Forte couldn't grind it out in short-yardage situations. So it was refreshing to see the new staff show confidence in the running back, who ultimately might wind up having to carry this team.

    Forte finished with 74 yards on eight attempts, including a 58-yard burst on a toss toward the visitor's sideline in which he made a defender miss in space to gain extra yardage. The run set up the club's first touchdown.

    Locked on Marshall: Cutler completed four of five passes with a touchdown and an interception in limited action with a passer rating of 98.3. On the surface, those numbers look respectable. But it seems a tad concerning that every one of Cutler's throws against the Chargers traveled Marshall's direction.

    Cutler hit Marshall on a pinpoint back-shoulder throw for the club's first touchdown of the night from 5 yards out to cap a seven-play drive spanning 84 yards in 3 minutes, 45 seconds. Cutler never looked at any other receiver on the play, but that might be of little consequence due to play design (maybe the pass was designed to come out quickly) and the fact it was a touchdown.

    Cutler's interception with 5:31 left in the first quarter seemed more telling. Cutler threw the ball down the deep middle of the field with Marshall bracketed in coverage with one defender over the top of him and one underneath.

    Hester still has it: Maybe specializing exclusively on returns was the right move for the Bears and Devin Hester. Hester caught the game's opening kickoff 8-yards deep in Chicago's end zone, and busted it 45 yards to set up the Bears at the 37.

    Coming into the season, there seemed to be questions about whether Hester had lost a step. It certainly didn't look like it Thursday night.

    D-line is deep: The Bears sat starting defensive linemen Julius Peppers (hamstring) andHenry Melton (concussion), but the defense suffered no ill effects. Young defensive endsCorey Wootton and Shea McClellin each notched first-quarter sacks of Rivers, with one of the sacks resulting in a turnover.

    Wootton dropped Rivers for a 9-yard loss with 6:15 left in the first quarter. McClellin, a first-round pick in 2012, sacked Rivers and knocked the ball loose with safety Major Wrightscooping up the fumble. That turnover led to Forte's 3-yard TD run.

    Early in the second quarter, reserve defensive tackle Nate Collins joined the sack party when he stuffed Rivers for a 6-yard loss on third down to end a San Diego drive.

    Same ol' D: The Bears forced four turnovers in the exhibition opener at Carolina, and the starting defense basically picked up where it left off against the Chargers. Safety Chris Conte picked off a Rivers pass intended for Keenan Allen in the first quarter, and Wright recovered a fumble forced by McClellin.

    What's next: With training camp now over, the Bears return to Halas Hall on Monday where they will begin preparation for an Aug. 23 road matchup against the Oakland Raiders.
  6. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    I didn't see the game, but some observations from all the postings are that the OL might actualkly be ok. I felt Longs wasgoing to be a beast, and it's ood to see that starting to come through. I really did not have Mills on my radar as a potential starter, so that is good news.

    I hate hat Blanchard hurt his left hand. Is he left handed? and how did it happen? Anyone hear if it is serious?

    Cutlers seems like he is still having issues with making good decisions and locking onto Marshall. Those were two of the three things I wanted him to imrove on. The third being gettingrid of the ball faster. This is only the second pre-season game, so we still have time, but honestly with the TCs over with and half of the pre-season games now behind us, I expected moreimprovement in those basics from him.

    If it continues, I think he will be in trouble. Problem is, to get a starting QB, it usually has to be a high pick and that derails some of out other needs. I Hope Cutler comes through so we can move away from worrying about the QB position and possibly sucking there for the next 4 or 5 years or however long it takes us to actually find a good one. I dunno. Cutler is going to worry me if he plays like this past the first or second season game.
  7. CBears

    CBears Rookie

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    no, right-hander

    maybe on last play sack. helmet on left hand.
  8. lklrlolnlilklsox

    lklrlolnlilklsox Position Coach

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    Should I be surprised that Hub Arkush, who was the biggest hater of the Long pick in the Universe, is trying to convince himself that he was more impressed with Mills getting pushed into the backfield on every dropback than Long?
  9. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Long was >> Mills, but Mills wasn't as embarrassing as I've seen Webb muliple times. And that is saying a lot for a 5th round rookie playing in his very first pro game. He was decent all things considered. Webb had trouble remembering the freakin' snap count three years into starting regualr season games.
  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I'm glad to see these reviews singled out a few guys who haven't been mentioned as much in camp.

    Aston Whiteside is listed @ 6'2 255lbs but my guess is this year he's more like 270-280lbs and could well be that utility DE/DT guy we were looking for to replace Izzy when we signed McBride. He comes of the ball very quickly and he's got a great bull rush. At RDE I watched him riding their LT back into the backfield on almost every rush. He looked good. Minter also had a few good moments. They're both raw but they looked to me like worth keeping around one way or another.

    Frey makes some coverage mistakes at times but he's got good speed, he's around the ball a lot and still learning the Nickel. He's a playmaker which is what his college scouting report said he was. I don't think we'll be hurting with him at NB and I also thought C J Wilson had some good moments too and should be a guy to back Frey. But McManis needs to stay on STeams if he sticks. His coverage's were terrible. In fact the entire third team defensive backfield sucked in coverage and Zbikowski handed them an easy TD when he failed to cover his guy on that last Charger TD. They all looked like the had no clue how to play their coverage.

    On the return team it looks like Ford is gonna make it a tough decision between himself and Allen. There's no doubt Allen is the better scat back but Ford made some decent runs. Behind the line he's more like a mini Michael Bush than a scat back but his KOR skills are impressive. He did a nice job of picking up his blockers and he keeps moving forward without much wasted movement. He also showed more speed on that return than he does when running behind the line so there may be some untapped potential there that needs some coaching.

    Lenz on the other hand isn't gonna make anyone forget Hester or even Earl Bennett. The fumble was a huge black mark and even on the return where he gained some yardage you can see that he's more of a sprinter than a ball carrier. Unlike Hester he needs to slow down to make his cuts and my guess is he has that same problem when running pass routes. He may have Johnny Knox type speed but that's where it ends. He's nowhere near as advanced as a returner and I'd bet even less to as a WR. He's one of those on my list of first to be cut.
  11. Strangerwithcandy11

    Strangerwithcandy11 Head Coach

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    So you're going out on a limb and saying Lenz will be one of the first cuts? That took some guts yo. I like Ford as well.
  12. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    What I'm really saying is that based on what I saw of him tonight he isn't a guy I could use if I'm running that team. And it had less to do with the fumble that it did watching him run. When he took that next punt towards the sideline he began to accelerate but he had to gear down to make his cut when the first tackler showed up and was brought down. Watch Hester when he returns. Once he turns upfield he never breaks stride and flows through his changes in direction at full speed.

    Knox and Manning could do the same on their KOR. It's tough to get a good hit on a guy moving opposite you that quickly and the pursuit can't catch you or move to close a running lane. Lenz is supposed to have 4.36 speed but that's not what I saw tonight. I haven't seen him in practices so I'm only guessing about his receiving skills but if the kid has to break stride to make his cuts on a punt return then I'd say there's a good chance he needs to gear down to make his cuts on his pass routes too and when you do that you lose separation. Maybe he can do the long ball thing or take quick slants at full speed but I think as far as his overall running skills they're less than his straight line speed would indicate. JMHO
  13. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I think that was Hub's point also, besides RT is a harder position to play.
  14. kegstand

    kegstand George Halas Staff Member

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    Bostic creating separation.
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  15. deuvl

    deuvl Newbie

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    Enjoyed seeing some free publicity for our Montreal Alouettes. To think we only get 2 pre-season games. We used to get 4.
  16. mdbearz

    mdbearz Veteran

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    I have not seen the game yet (sucks being out of Market). So how did Webb play when he was in?

    It would be great if we had the depth to cut him, but Britton and Scott both have had injuries, so a healthy Webb might be better than either guy :(
  17. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I thought he looked okay from what I saw of him, but some reviews on 670 from beat writers were less then glowing, so who knows. Again they need to find someone that can play LT, and it sounds like(from what I've heard) is that it's really only Scott that will give him a run for his job. But if Scott is healthy Webb might well not make the team.

    Same w/Ford btw, Ford, outside of his 1 KR and 1 run, really didn't do much and his job will depend on if Allen is healthy, as reported on 670. They said Allen is a 4 phase ST'r, and even though he had the fumble last week, Ford had a missed pass pro block, and another missed assignment somewhere, and is not going to push Hester for KR duties b/c of a 100yr return against guys that will have 40hr jobs in 2-3 weeks.

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