NFL Analysis: Preseason Week 2 Colts vs Bears
In a Week 2 preseason showdown, the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts matched wits on NFL Saturday Night. Despite both teams opting to sideline a majority of their primary starters, the field was ripe with competitive spirit, primarily spurred by the teams’ joint practices held earlier in the week.
Colts’ Gardner Minshew, only days after learning that he wouldn’t be the opening-day starter, managed to spearhead the first scoring against the Bears. Indianapolis clinched a 24-17 victory, primarily credited to Minshew and Sam Ehlinger’s fourth-quarter rallies.
The Bears, under second-year coach Matt Eberflus, encountered their first preseason defeat. Notably absent were potential game-changers, Justin Fields from Chicago and the fourth overall pick in April’s draft, Richardson.
Yet, as the game unfolded, the prowess of three quarterbacks – Minshew, Ehlinger, and the Bears’ undrafted rookie, Tyson Bagent – took center stage, which is always great to see in preseason games.
Ehlinger showcased his dual-threat capabilities with 124 passing yards and a team-leading 60 rushing yards. Bagent, stepping in for PJ Walker, orchestrated a 92-yard drive, culminating in a 2-yard touchdown, leaving him with a near-perfect 9 of 10 completions for 76 yards.
Game Highlights: Ups and Downs for Chicago
Both teams showcased depth in their rosters. While the Bears highlighted their offensive prowess, the Colts displayed a sturdy pass defense. Concerns linger for Chicago around the interior, even as Ja’Tyre Carter put on a stellar performance. For the Colts, rookie tackle Blake Freeland from BYU showcased promising potential, despite a few hiccups.
Jonathan Taylor, the Colts’ notable running back, continues to make headlines for his ongoing contract dispute and trade request. Despite rumors and uncertainties, team owner Jim Irsay reassured fans of Taylor’s non-negotiable position on the team. Taylor is expected to rejoin the team soon, though a specific timeline remains unclear.
Daurice Fountain’s inspiring journey back to the field was evident as he secured five receptions for a commendable 86 yards. After a devastating injury in 2019, Fountain’s perseverance is commendable, highlighting his journey through the Colts and Kansas City Chiefs before settling with the Bears.
Preseason Meetups: A Walk Down Memory Lane
Lucas Oil Stadium and Soldier Field may be a short almost 3-hour drive apart, but their on-field confrontations have been sporadic since 2000, they have only faced each other on six different occasions. One such encounter in 2019 stands out, marked by the shocking revelation of Andrew Luck’s retirement, after he was booed off the field the team held a subsequent impromptu press conference.
During these preseason games, the focus is often on keeping players safe and healthy for the upcoming regular season. However, injuries, both minor and major, can unfortunately still occur.
For the Indianapolis Colts, concerns arose around their defensive unit. Their three-time All-Pro linebacker, Shaquille, had already missed Thursday’s practice and was notably absent from Saturday’s match. Further compounding the Colts’ injury woes, linebacker Jo Jo Domann left the game with a calf injury. The severity and potential recovery time for Domann’s calf injury are yet to be officially confirmed. His departure left a noticeable gap, raising concerns about depth in the Colts’ linebacker corps, especially if these injuries linger into the regular season.
The Chicago Bears weren’t spared from the injury bug either. A moment of concern transpired when cornerback Jaylon Jones left the field in the fourth quarter. Initial observations suggest a left leg injury. The Bears will be hoping it’s nothing serious, given the pivotal role Jones plays in their secondary. In another blow to the Bears’ roster, center Cody Whitehair missed the game due to a right-hand injury sustained in a recent practice. Whitehair is a key component of the Bears’ offensive line, and his health will be closely monitored in the coming weeks to ensure the line remains fortified.
Monitor these injuries closely to understand how they might affect NFL Lines.
The preseason clash between the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts may have lacked the star power of regular-season games, but it unveiled potential new heroes and factors that will influence NFL Odds.