The Bears’ offense better hope Saturday wasn’t a sign of things to come.
After totaling 20 yards in the first half, the Bears starters mustered a mere 48-yard field goal attempt — which Robbie Gould missed — to start the third quarter in an eventual 23-7 loss to the Chiefs at Soldier Field.
The third preseason game is supposed to most closest mimic regular-season play. If that holds true, it’ll be a long year.
By the time Jay Cutler gave way to backup Brian Hoyer, the quarterback had completed 6-of-15 passes for 45 yards. Behind an offensive line that featured the unproven Cornelius Edison at center, he was sacked twice.
Cutler wasn’t helped by his two most prominent targets. Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White each dropped one pass; the former would have gained at least 20 yards in the second quarter.
The news wasn’t much better on defense, where the Bears allowed the Chiefs starters to hold the ball for 21:54 of 30 first-half minutes and score three times on five possessions. The Chiefs’ Alex Smith completed two-thirds of his 30 attempts for 181 yards. The team’s two touchdowns came on runs — Spencer Ware’s 1-yarder in the second quarter and Darrin Reaves’ four-yarder in the third. Cairo Santos made three field goals.
The Bears sustained a more long-term problem, 15 days before the season opener in Houston: in the second quarter, cornerback Tracy Porter left the game to be tested for a concussion after teammate Harold Jones-Quartey kneed him in the back of the helmet while trying to make a tackle. Fellow cornerback Kyle Fuller had arthroscopic knee surgery last week, while slot corner Bryce Callahan has missed the previous two games with a hamstring problem.
Hoyer left in the fourth quarter after being hit in the midsection on an incomplete pass. His replacement, third-stringer Connor Shaw, sparked the Bears, eventually finding Cameron Meredith for a 16-yard touchdown with 5:40 to play. It was the Bears’ first points at Soldier Field this preseason; they were blanked 22-0 by the Broncos in the opener.
Shaw, however, left the game in a golf cart with 2:32 with a grisly left ankle injury. His leg was placed in an air cast after being stepped on.
Strangely, rather than play fourth-stringer David Fales, the Bears put Hoyer back in the game.
The Bears are 0-3 this preseason.