The Chicago Bears beat the Kansas City Chiefs 19-14 in the preseason opener Saturday at Soldier Field.
Justin Fields’ day
In three series of work, Bears quarterback Justin Fields completed 4 of 7 passes for 48 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He was sacked twice and had one 10-yard run.
His two best plays came on third down, the first a 26-yard pass to Darnell Mooney on the Bears’ second drive. But then Fields was sacked, Khalil Herbert ran for no gain and Fields threw incomplete to force the Bears to punt.
Fields also hit Tajae Sharpe with a 19-yard pass on third-and-9 on the Bears’ third drive. But that drive ended at the Chiefs 43-yard line when Herbert was stopped for no gain.
The Bears were missing many of their top offensive playmakers, including running back David Montgomery and Cole Kmet, who are day to day with injuries.
Rookie safety Jaquan Brisker played into the Chiefs’ fourth drive when he made a splash against backups with a tackle for a loss and a near-interception. Brisker, a second-round pick out of Penn State, finished with four tackles and a pass defended.
Fellow Bears second-round pick Kyler Gordon didn’t play as he continues his recovery from an undisclosed injury.
The Bears defense gave up a touchdown on Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ only drive. Mahomes completed 6 of 7 passes for 60 yards and found tight end Blake Bell for a 5-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead.
Nice debut, Part II
Rookie running back/returner Trestan Ebner returned the opening kickoff 34 yards and also broke for a 27-yard run in the second quarter.
Ebner, a sixth-round pick out of Baylor, scored the Bears’ first touchdown of the preseason, a 12-yard reception from Trevor Siemian in the third quarter.
The Bears played most of their healthy starters, but veteran defensive end Robert Quinn and offensive tackle Riley Reiff sat out. Linebacker Roquan Smith was present but didn’t play as he continues his “hold-in” amid stalled contract negotiations.
Montgomery, Kmet, Gordon, tight ends Ryan Griffin and James O’Shaughnessy, cornerbacks Kindle Vildor, Duke Shelley and Thomas Graham Jr. and wide receivers Byron Pringle, N’Keal Harry, Velus Jones Jr. and David Moore were among the players to miss the game with injuries.
- Rookie linebacker Jack Sanborn, a Lake Zurich alumnus, had a third-quarter interception against third-string quarterback Shane Buechele. Sanborn returned it 13 yards to the Chiefs 27-yard line, and Ebner scored six plays later. Sanborn also had a fumble recovery.
- With Reiff out, second-year offensive tackle Larry Borom started on the right side. From left to right, Braxton Jones, Cody Whitehair, Sam Mustipher, Michael Schofield and Borom were the starting line. Teven Jenkins received reps at right tackle with the second-team line. Borom also got work at left tackle later in the game.
- The Bears started with Ebner on kickoff returns and Dazz Newsome on punt returns. But Newsome muffed a punt, and Dante Pettis got the next opportunity. Newsome recovered by catching a 13-yard touchdown pass from Siemian in the third quarter.
- Bears kicker Cairo Santos, working with new punter/holder Trenton Gill, made field goals of 20 and 47 yards.
- Former Bears coach Matt Nagy was on the Chiefs sideline during the game. Nagy, who is the Chiefs senior offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach, caught up with Bears players and staffers on the field before the game.
- The field conditions, which Santos lamented earlier this week, weren’t ideal and even caught the attention of NFLPA president J.C. Tretter. He tweeted that “the NFL can and should do better.”