On Saturday, the Chicago Bears beat the Buffalo Bills, 10-3 on their home field. While many plays gave fans and the team hope for a promising season, it’s a good thing there’s more preseason games to fix some problems.
After losing his starting role last week to newcomer and former member of the Mike Martz club, Roy Williams, Johnny Knox came out of the starting gate hard on Saturday and had a 70-yard return at the end of the first quarter. He later caught an 11-yard pass from backup quarterback Caleb Hanie.
For the night, Knox had 97 all-purpose yards. This season, he will run kickoff returns while Devin Hester will return punts.
Marion Barber, new to the Bears and battling for the No. 2 running back role against Chester Taylor, played well in his short appearance. In the Bears’ first score of the game, Barber carried six times for 37 yards before Hanie ran four yards to get the Bears’ sole touchdown of the night.
Newcomer free agent defensive tackle Amobi Okoye made an impression with two sacks and after talking him up this week from camp, fellow tackle Henry Melton also had a good game.
Green quarterback Nathan Enderle was impressive with 110 yards, including a 31-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Kris Adams. For the night, Adams had a total of 58 yards.
Offensive line coach Mike Tice confidently named his starting five players a week or so ago and said unless they “falter,” they’ll be the starting crew. While the offensive skill position starters played one series, the O-Line stayed in for first half.
They needed the practice and will need to play more cohesively.
Cutler in his one series, managed to get sacked for a six-yard loss and quickly flashed his renowned pout. Left guard Chris Williams appeared slow at times and after coming back from last season’s injury, left tackle J’Marcus Webb didn’t set the field on fire; he allowed two sacks. Hanie got sacked twice in back-to-back plays and right before the team entered halftime, third time was the charm with an additional sack.
For the night, the Bills had nine sacks.
The Bears defense, usually always fun to watch, was slow coming out of the starting gates. In the first quarter, the starters allowed the Bills to convert 50 percent of their third downs, and to amass 67 yards in just two series.
A few injuries hit the team–none seen as too serious–beginning with defensive end Corey Wooten; he suffered a knee injury on the opening kickoff. He was out for the rest of the game. In the second quarter, defensive tackle Marcus Harrison hurt his shoulder and was subsequently declared questionable. And cornerback Zack Bowman sustained a “head injury” after colliding with Bills receiver Paul Hubbard in the third quarter.
Defensive tackle Anthony Adams, with a calf injury, did not dress for Saturday’s game.
Running back Matt Forte, with one year left on his rookie contract and looking for an extension now with a hefty pay raise, played on Saturday with the first team in the first series. He took two snaps, catching one pass for zero yards. Forte had considered sitting out during the preseason but took the high road and has not.
On Saturday in a pregame interview with FOX Chicago, Bears president Ted Phillips wouldn’t give a definitive answer about an extension for Forte.
What’s next? The Bears will play the New York Giants on Aug.22.
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Written by Debbie Baratz