The Bears preseason has come to a close with a 24-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. This loss comes as no surprise since the Bills are a playoff and Super Bowl contender this season. Facing a team like this in the preseason helps coaches and fans better evaluate where the team is at right now. With that in mind, here are some key takeaways from Bears preseason week three.
Justin Fields and the offense struggle
Justin Fields and the starting offense had a rough day against the Bills. Starting the day with two three-and-outs that consisted of Fields going 0-4 passing. His incompletions were a result of inaccurate and late passes. These are the issues Fields faced last season and needs to improve on. Fields passing was not the only issue, as the run game was also ineffective on those two drives, only gaining two total yards.
On the starting offenses’ third and final drive, they were able to move the ball. They began the drive with a 13-yard run from Fields. Even though Fields should not be running and risking his health in the preseason, this play seemed to fire him up. Since after the run, he completed a pass to D.J. Moore, who turned 15 yards into 40 yards with yards after catch. Following that big play, the Bears ran it twice and gained 11 yards on the ground. Fields final snap was an 11-yard screen pass to D’onta Foreman. That means he finished the day going 2-of-6 passing with 51 yards.
While those are not great stats similar to preseason week one reading too much into them is not necessary. The only thing that matters is fields showing improvement in the regular season.
Tyrique Stevenson had ups and downs
Stevenson’s rocky preseason continued against the Bills, having both positive and negative plays. His negative plays consisted of two defensive holding penalties and letting up a touchdown. Committing penalties has become a theme of Stevensons’ preseason, now totaling four after this game. While being a physical cornerback is important and part of Stevenson’s game, he needs to channel his emotions and play smarter so he does not cost the team.
Stevenson also let up a 29-yard touchdown to Bills tight end Quintin Morris. On the play, he got beat off the line by a corner route and could not recover. While getting beat off the line is not optimal, Stevenson needs to find ways to minimize the damage after it happens.
Stevenson’s best play of this game, and maybe his entire preseason, was a sideline interception of Kyle Allen.
Securing that interception showed progress after he missed interceptions in the first two weeks of the preseason. Stevenson’s rocky play will continue into the regular season, but it is tolerable as long as he shows improvement to grow his rookie season.
Tyson Bagent comes back down to Earth
Throughout the first two weeks of the preseason, Backup Quarterback Tyson Bagent has been exciting to watch. This excitement comes from his posied passing and good decision making. Those two traits have led Bagent to be 13-15 passing for 113 yards, and he rushed for two yards and a touchdown. With that success, the Bears decided to give Bagent extended playing time this week.
Bagent accumulated 66 total yards, 43 passing and 23 rushing, while going 7-14 passing and gaining a rushing touchdown against the Bills. Those numbers do not look great, but they are a bit skewed since his passing numbers are skewed since tight end Steven Carlson dropped a touchdown pass. That drop then led to the next play being an interception. Bagent’s stats this week might look completely different if Carlson caught that touchdown. But he did not, so Bagent ends his preseason with a middle-of-the-road performance that still looks better than the other backup quarterbacks on the roster,
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