The Chicago Bears defeated the Oakland Raiders 34-26 Friday night in their dress rehearsal for the regular season. And after seeing just a glimpse of how efficient the team’s offense has a chance to function in 2013, Bears fan were left salivating.
Granted, the Oakland Raiders are in a transition period — a transition period where they were essentially forced to get rid of their best players to alleviate serious cap concerns — and while they are a young team, they may be the least talented team in the league and subsequently the worst in 2013.
That aside, here’s my notebook dump starting with the offense:
- Jay Cutler looked sharp, finishing the night at the half 12 of 21 for 142 yards and a touchdown, for a passer efficiency rating of 93.8. He did this despite throwing the ball to Brandon Marshall on four occasions for four incompletions. Young tight end Fendi Onobun didn’t help either, adding two drops of his own to the mix. Overall, it was a mixed bag for the receivers with one in particular standing out …
- Alshon Jeffery quietly had a really solid offseason, and he showed some of that Friday night, catching seven of eight passes for 77 total yards, including his opening catch and run for 22 yards after a slip in the open field. Not to mention he added a key block to spring the next offensive player in our notes for a big gain …
- Matt Forte came away with 76 rushing yards on six attempts and 33 receiving yards on two receptions. He has 149 rushing yards on only 15 carries throughout the preseason, and his big 32-yard catch and TD run on Friday night offered a glimpse at how explosive Forte can be in Marc Trestman’s offense. (Sidenote: The last time the Raiders made the playoffs in 2002, Marc Trestman was their offensive coordinator and running back Charlie Garner saw 91 receptions for 941 yards and 182 carries for 962 yards and 11 total TDs that season. That’s why people are excited about how this team will use the talent and versatility of Matt Forte in 2013.)
- Brandon Marshall had the dropsies, but hey, sometimes he does that. I don’t think anyone is worried about him, right? Moving on.
- Kyle Long and Jordan Mills played well in their second start together with Mills notching an ugly false start and Long missing a couple of assignments up on the second level. Apart from that, the two rookies appear to have their starting spots locked up. Let’s just hope they continue to improve week-to-week.
- Matt Slauson, who we haven’t really talked a lot about this offseason, has had a really solid preseason, although it’s fair to say he has struggled at times. Last night, I thought was one of those nights given his billing. He was touted as an interior pass blocker, but excelled more in the run game Friday, giving up at least a pressure on QB Jay Cutler — the one where Cutler had to run and slide for 13 yards.
- Roberto Garza had a pretty ugly looking snap in there, but overall, I thought he was solid.
- Jermon Bushrod was probably the best o-lineman on the field Friday night.
- The tight end position did little to excite on Friday with Martellus Bennett targeted three times for only one reception and Fendi Onobun getting two targets and zero receptions. Onobun’s primary role, however, is as a blocking tight end, but to be honest I think Leonard Pope has done that best among the TE group. At 29, however, he already has a few strikes against him in terms of the Bears overall philosophy of getting younger. It will be interesting to see how this position shakes out.
- WR Marquess Wilson continues to impress and …
- OL J’Marcus Webb continues his downward slump.
As for the defense:
- Jon Bostic may actually be being underrated throughout the preseason, as not much has seemed to faze this kid. His ability to read and his reaction time show both incredible athleticism and incredible confidence that you rarely see second-round draft picks playing with as a rookie. He has this ability to redirect that suggests he’s not going to get juked out of making a lot of plays in this league. He led the team in tackles on Friday and had a tackle for loss.
- Tim Jennings came away with a great read on a terrible throw by Matt Flynn for the turnover, which it was nice to see the Bears’ offense then capitalize on. His 2012 campaign doesn’t appear to be a fluke if this offseason has been any indication.
- Isaiah Frey continues to play the nickel role well, coming away with a pick against the Raiders.
- Charles Tillman, who only has three sacks in his career, sacked Matt Flynn on a blitz, which was a ton of fun to see.
- CB C.J. Wilson also played well against the backups, notching four tackles, an interception, a tackle for loss and two passes defended. CB Zack Bowman left the game with what Trestman called a right hamstring injury, and this is interesting, because with the loss of Kelvin Hayden to injured reserve, and depending on how serious Bowman's injury turns out to be, some spots on the bottom of the CB depth chart could be opened up, and Wilson is giving the coaches a reason to take a second look.
Next up: The Cleveland Browns, who really haven’t been a proud franchise since 1989 when Marc Trestman left the team.
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Filed under: Post Game Report