With the NFL preseason coming to an end on Thursday, many fans of football were relieved to see their team make it off the field healthy. For many Chicago Bear fans they were just relieved to get their first victory of the preseason and not go 0-4 through out the entire preseason. Yes the win came against the Cleveland Browns, a team with just as many question marks as the Bears have and yes this was preseason so absolutely nothing matters with the final outcome score. If there is one thing that does matter in preseason though, it is the individual performance by players. When you look at the overall stats for the Bears preseason, it does not look pretty, but here is your 2016 Chicago Bears preseason recap.
On the offensive side of the game, the Bears struggled mightily this preseason. As a team the Bears averaged 12.5 points a game along with 250.5 total yards a game and 154.8 passing yards a game. With those numbers the Bears ranked 29th in all three categories, and if you are wondering how the ground attacked ranked this preseason, the Bears averaged 95.8 rushing yards a game which was good for 21st overall. Jay Cutler did not exactly have the best preseason as he failed to throw a single touchdown, but if you are a half-full cup kind of person you can at least be proud Cutler did not throw any interceptions. The Bears 2015 first round pick, Kevin White seemed at times this preseason a little bit overmatched, but in the final preseason game White showed some potential of what kind of playmaking skills he possess by catching all four of his targets for 57 yards. In the first three games combined White only had three receptions for 12 yards. If he can stay healthy he could be a nice number two wide receiver next to Alshon Jeffery. In the rushing department second year halfback Jeremy Langford on paper looks like he had a decent preseason averaging 4.4 yards per carry on 18 attempts. Although 4.4 yards per carry is not bad at all, Langford still looked a little undersized on the field and seemed to have trouble finding the holes that were created by the offensive line. In fact if you take away Langford’s longest run of 34 yards that he had against the Patriots, Langford would only be averaging 2.65 yards per carry. One bright note for the Bears rushing game was Jordan Howard’s performance against the Browns. A 2016 fifth round pick out of Indiana, Jordan Howard carried the ball 16 times against the browns for 107 yards and a touchdown.
For a franchise that has been well known through out football history for having some of the most dominating defenses, the 2016 Bears defense will have a lot of growing pains. This is a defense that is young but talented especially with the likes of Danny Trevathan coming over from the defending super bowl Champion Denver Broncos. Trevathan seemed to be all over the field when he was out there during the preseason as he was showing off speed and covering a lot of ground as linebacker. Still the Bears defense was shaky at times through out the preseason as the Chiefs really embarrassed the Bears Defense in the third game of the preseason having a total of 378 yards against the Bears. Like I said this defense is young but talented and you had to be really impressed with rookies Deandre Houston, who is a safety and also Deiondre Hall a cornerback from Northern Iowa. Both throughout the preseaon showed some glimpse of what the Bears may have in the future especially Deiondre Hall who was stuck on Josh Gordon most of the game against Cleveland and held Gordon to 3 catches on six targets for only 29 yards. Still with all that said remember, there will be growing pains as the Bears were ranked 27th in passing yards allowed during the preseason.
With all that said, this is probably a good time to remind yourself that this was all preseason. I will say it again yes, preseason scores and records do not matter one bit, but you should pay close attention to individuals performance and at least see how the starters look out on the field. The Bears did not have the best preseason as a lot of players were missing through out training camp with injuries and missing practices, which could be one reason as to why they struggled this preseason. Or maybe it was the thought that head coach, John Fox had his team playing possum and he was not going to show his entire playbook through out preseason. Whatever the reason is as to why the Bears struggled this preseason, I believe we all need to take a deep breath and remember that preseason wins and lost totals are meaningless. After all, the 2008 Detroit Lions who went 0-16 were 4-0 in the preseason.