Found August 16, 2013 on Sports Blog Net:
Watching the Bears in Week One of the preseason against Carolina and then watching them on Thursday night against San Diego was a completely different experience. A 33-28 win definitely felt different, but that wasn't the only reason. The Bears' first-team defense forced two turnovers and racked up three sacks which translated into seven points. The first-team offense looked solid after an awful opening drive. Devin Hester returned the opening kickoff 45 yards and appeared to be back to his old form. On first-down, Forte rushed for a 2-yard loss. The next play, Cutler was sacked and lost a fumble which was recovered by tight end Martellus Bennett. On third-down, Cutler was sacked once again and then the Bears punted the ball away. The drive started on the 37-yard line and wound up back at the 23-yard line. Third-string quarterback Matt Blanchard fractured his knuckle on his left hand in the third quarter of Thursday night's game. The Bears will decide what to do with Blanchard depending on how serious the injury is. They could place him on the IR or waive him and sign him to the practice squad in the coming weeks. Either way expect another quarterback in town in the next couple of days. Defensive tackle Corvey Irvin suffered an ankle injury and was forced to sit out the rest of the game. Impressive Performances Matt Forte It was nice to see some creativity with the play-calling on offense. Matt Forte was certainly a beneficiary of that. He carried the ball eight times for 74 yards and one touchdown. He added a 58-yard run on a 3rd-and-one on a stretch play where left tackle Jermon Bushrod paved the way with a solid block. Big things are coming for this offense when they use Forte like that. Brandon Marshall All five of Jay Cutler's throws were to Brandon Marshall. Marshall caught all of them except the one that was thrown late into double coverage, which was intercepted. He reeled in four catches for 38 yards and one touchdown. The five-yard touchdown reception was a bullet from Cutler. Cutler and Marshall trust one another and Marshall made a great play on the touchdown catch. It doesn't worry me that Cutler threw only to Marshall and no one else on Thursday night. The Bears are trying to keep their offensive gameplan on the down low heading into the regular season. Chris Conte The Birdman had a big interception. The crowd erupted as well as the players on the field. Conte has made big plays so far in his career with the Bears. He should be in line for a nice season if he can stay healthy in 2013. Corey Wootton Two tackles and one sack. That's the stat line for Corey Wootton who celebrated his sack with the famous robot dance. He looked healthy. He had some nice burst to his step. This Bears' defense could be elite once again with Peppers and Wootton providing pressure off the edge. Not to mention Shea McClellin as well as the third defensive end. Michael Ford The rookie flashed his skills once again. This time it was in the return game. He had three kick returns for 163 yards, which gave him an average of 53.3 yards per return. The highlight of the night for him was his 100-yard kick return in the third quarter that set up a Michael Bush touchdown run. However, Ford needs to prove more out of the backfield in the final two preseason games. Disappointing Performances Tom Zbikowski Growing up in Park Ridge, Illinois, Tom Zbikowski has always been a big fan of the Bears. He had three tackles on Thursday night. He took a terrible angle on a Mike Willie touchdown reception in the second half. He is certainly working his way off the team. Kyle Moore He made one tackle after not showing up on the stat sheet in Week One. He is competing for the fourth defensive end spot with rookie Corenlius Washington. He needs to prove his worth because right now the loss of Israel Idonije isn't looking to great. Especially because Idonije barely got more money than Moore did. Eric Weems He caught one of his two targets for 10 yards. He didn't make any flashy plays on special teams. He is a solid tackler, but he is very replaceable considering his $1.4 million cap hit this season. Josh McCown He completed five of eight passes for 28 yards with a QB rating of 68.8. He didn't really try any deep throws. He needs to take command of this offense over the next two games. He is a solid backup considering his veteran leadership, but he simply needs to show more for me to feel comfortable with him as the No. 2 QB. Jake Perper is the founder and head writer of Bearsbacker.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Chicago Bears.
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