First-and-10: Mike Glennon puts QB debate on back burner — for now
There were more questions about coach John Fox’s home on Marco Island, Florida, than there were about Mike Glennon at Fox’s news conference Monday after the Bears’ 23-17 loss to the Falcons on Sunday.
“It’s way better than anticipated,” Fox said of the damage to his home in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
As for Glennon, the subject of the Bears’ starting quarterback never came up — an indication of just how average Glennon was in his Bears debut or just how many other, bigger issues the Bears have in their quest for relevance.
Statistically, Glennon nailed the sweet spot of quarterback mediocrity with an 86.8 passer rating — 26-for-40 for 216 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. He was good enough to keep the job but unimpressive enough to leave you feeling that the Bears might have a better option in rookie Mitch Trubisky.
So while the matter is settled at Halas Hall, the Glennon/Trubisky debate continues in full force everywhere else. Glennon gave his team a chance to win against the defending NFC champions. He avoided turnovers. He had one of the most unproven wide receiver corps in the NFL to work with.
But it remains to be seen how much better Glennon can be with this supporting cast and his limited mobility and elusiveness. He was sacked four times. He showed no ability to turn a perilous pass-protection situation into a downfield opportunity.
That, of course, is where Trubisky comes in. He already has shown an innate ability to anticipate pressure, the footwork to avoid it and the ability to throw on the run to turn garbage into gold. That might have come in handy at the 5-yard line with 21 seconds left. On a team with limited weapons, his mobility sure seems like an asset — giving receivers more time to get open and putting the defense on its heels.
We’re not there yet. Glennon earned the right to keep going. But if the losses and 86.8 passer ratings start to pile up, Glennon’s leash will get shorter and shorter. Ultimately, Glennon himself will have to be ‘‘way better than average’’ to hang on to the job.
2. The last time Glennon won a game as a starter in the NFL, he came through in a nearly identical situation as he did not against the Falcons. In Week 4 of the 2014 season with the Buccaneers, Glennon threw a five-yard touchdown pass on third-and-goal to give the Bucs a 27-24 victory against the Steelers at Heinz Field.
The big difference? He had a Pro Bowl receiver to throw to — Vincent Jackson, who made a reaching grab in the front corner of the end zone for the touchdown.
3. Kevin White’s season opener was marked by two career bugaboos: He couldn’t get open, and he couldn’t stay healthy. White broke his left shoulder blade and was put on injured reserve Monday.
At this point, White might want to reboot his career with a team that plays on artificial turf. He has played mostly on grass fields in training camp and the preseason and seemed to always struggle to get open — even slipping as he cut on an incompletion on the first ball thrown to him Sunday. His best game in the NFL — six receptions for 62 yards, including a 32-yard catch — came against the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium, which has state-of-the-art Matrix artificial turf. He played on FieldTurf at West Virginia.
4. If you think it’s unusual for a quarterback to take a 12-yard sack, let alone two in one game, you’re right. Only 54 of the 1,186 sacks in the NFL last year lost 12 or more yards (4.6 percent). Glennon lost 12 yards on two of four sacks (50 percent) against Atlanta.
5. Why was Tarik Cohen on the sideline for the first three downs at the 5-yard line in the final seconds?
‘‘There’s a lot of protection involved, and we’d had a couple of those issues earlier in the game,’’ Fox said.
6. Sept. 11 is always a particularly melancholy day for Fox. He was the Giants’ defensive coordinator in 2001, and the team plane landed at Newark International Airport after a Monday night game in Denver around 8:30 a.m. on 9/11 — just before the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
‘‘I know the one flight that crashed in [Pennsylvania] was actually pulling out of the same Jetway we were at,’’ Fox said. ‘‘We’re driving down the turnpike, and the smoke’s billowing out of the towers. I think history speaks for the rest of that day.’’
7. Tyre Brady Watch: The Marshall junior caught 11 passes for 248 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown, in a 37-20 loss to North Carolina State on Saturday. Even after burning N.C. State for six receptions for 188 yards in the first half, Brady caught five passes for 60 yards against bracketed coverage in the second half.
8. Ex-Bear of the Week: At 37, Julius Peppers had a half-sack and two quarterback hits for the Panthers in a 23-3 victory against the 49ers.
9. For What It’s Worth Dept.: Alshon Jeffery (3-38), Brandon Marshall (1-10) and Martellus Bennett (3-43) combined for seven receptions, 91 yards and no touchdowns in Week 1.
10. Bear-ometer: 7-9 — at Buccaneers (W); vs. Steelers (L); at Packers (L); vs. Vikings (W); at Ravens (L); vs. Panthers (L); at Saints (L); vs. Packers (W); vs. Lions (W); at Eagles (L); vs. 49ers (W); at Bengals (W); at Lions (L); vs. Browns (W); at Vikings (L).
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