Good, bad and worse: How the Bears fared in Week 1
Some Bears are better than others some weeks:
Maybe the most surprising stat in the Bears’ 23-17 loss Sunday to the Falcons: Outside linebacker Sam Acho played twice as many snaps as Willie Young and 10 times as many as Pernell McPhee.
Acho was on the field for 40 plays, thanks in part to his run-stopping prowess.
‘‘Sam Acho played really well against the run,’’ coach John Fox said Monday. ‘‘I thought our rush defense was a strong suit in that game.’’
The good news is that McPhee is back and, the team claims, is in the best shape of his life. The bad news is that he played four snaps and didn’t make a tackle.
He clearly lost snaps to Acho. Fox said the Falcons used more three-receiver sets than most teams, so McPhee, a run-stopper, played less.
‘‘It was just the way the game sorted out,’’ he said.
The Bears shuttled Cody Whitehair between guard and center toward the end of the preseason while debating whether to start center Hroniss Grasu to help replace guard Kyle Long.
Whitehair was called for two major penalties — illegal use of hands and holding — and had a bad shotgun snap at the worst time. On second-and-13 a minute into the fourth quarter — two plays after his hold — he snapped the ball low and to the left of Mike Glennon’s feet.
Glennon picked the ball up and fired it away, and the Bears punted two plays later.
Fox said that the Bears are sending the holding call to the NFL offices for review and that Whitehair’s snapping will improve.
‘‘It’s something he’ll get better at,’’ Fox said. ‘‘He’s aware of it. He’s a competitor. He’ll continue to work.’’
— Patrick Finley