Thursday night, the Chicago Bears defeated the Seattle Seahawks 27-11. While the media made it seem like an okay performance, the Bears pretty much dismantled the Seahawks all the way until the final 5 minutes of the 4th quarter. There were some strong performances, some okay ones, and some poor ones. Let’s break down who stood out and whose stock rose and fell.
Stock Up: Linebacker Core
While the recurring story of Roquan Smith’s absence takes the spotlight, there have been a lot of things to like about the rest of the linebacker core. After an injury to Matt Adams, Joe Thomas and UDFA Jack Sanborn stepped up and led the game with 7 tackles each. While Thomas succeeded as a game manager, Sanborn excelled by showing his ball sense and quickness to swarm the ball. DeMarquis Gates, recently signed out of the USFL, was all over the field and showed his value to the rotational group. All in all, a strong performance by a very capable group of guys.
Stock Down: Dazz Newsome
Every single Bears fan is rooting for Dazz. In his limited opportunities, he’s shown flashes of great ability. However, the Seahawks game did not help his chances of making the 53 man roster. To little fault of his own, he was not targeted much at all. Instead he was outshined by Nsimba Webster, Isaiah Coulter, and Velus Jones Jr. in the backup group of guys. Newsome was also limited in the return game, as two returns only totaled 8 yards. One return was blown up at the very beginning due to an error by DeMontre Tuggle, who collided with Newsome before he was able to field the ball. While Newsome performed well in his limited chances, his stock fell due to the performances by the rest of the receiving room.
Stock Up: Trevon Coley
One of the biggest surprise performers so far of the preseason has been Trevon Coley. After putting up 2 sacks in the preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, he repeated this by racking up yet another sack. Coley’s big build allows for versatility along the line, and with a relatively thin room, these types of performances very much help his chances. The 6th year D-Lineman has struggled to thus far hold a roster spot through his young career, but it’s looking like things may be on the up for Coley.
Stock Down: Michael Schofield
Schofield was initially seen as a very safe, fallback option in case the line really falls apart.He’s a proven veteran on a cheap deal. However, he did not play like that at all. He was getting beat regularly at the snap, allowing a handful of pressures, all against the Seahawks young, unproven, and 3rd string D-Line. To be blunt, it was a bad performance. His spot on the roster is not safe.
Stock Up: Velus Jones and Kyler Gordon
The Bears 2nd and 3rd round draft picks excelled in their first real taste of game action. Kyler Gordon, playing in his home state of Washington, played Nickel, and extremely well. He showed his speed in a few designed corner blitzes, and coverage skills 1 on 1. In exception to one poor missed tackle, he was incredibly consistent – sporting a 90 PFF coverage grade. Velus Jones Jr.’s first touch was a fumbled return, and fortunately enough, he did not look back past that point. He operated as KR1 and PR1, a good sign in how the coaching staff views him and his potential. While having a few successful returns, Jones returned a punt 48 yards, which would have gone for a touchdown had Joe Thomas blocked. His explosiveness and ability to turn on the jets was apparent. His slick route running in the receiving game was also on display. The idea of Jones in this revamped offense is exciting. Overall, both rookies showed out; the future is bright.
Stock Up: The New Bears Coaching Staff
Isn’t it nice to see a disciplined team? In comparison to the Seahawks ungodly 13 penalties, the Bears only committed 3 – none of those being personal. The defense, led by HC Eberflus and DC Alan Williams, were constantly in sync, wrapped up on tackles, and stayed aggressive throughout the entirety of the game. OC Luke Getsy’s group was strong in designed rollouts and converted a great amount on 3rd down. A coaching staff that has a lot to prove was insanely impressive in their management of the game against the Seahawks.
Some other players whose stock rose and fell:
Teven Jenkins, RG (?):
Stock to the Moon
Shon Coleman, LT:
Jaylon Jones, DB:
Sam Mustipher, C:
Jon Alexander, DB:
Corey Dublin, C:
Dominique Robinson, EDGE:
BoPete Keyes, DB:
Special Teams Unit as a Whole:
The Bears had another overall strong performance. They will look to finish the preseason on a positive note Saturday against the Cleveland Browns.