OAKLAND – Marc Trestman, Jay Cutler and the Bears may not have wanted to reveal too much about their offense through this preseason. They couldn’t help themselves on Friday night against the Oakland Raiders, who were turned into the Washington Generals for a Chicago offense looking to file off some burrs.
First, Trestman said a lot of his offense would run through tailback Matt Forte. In the first half, Forte accounted for six carries and two “targets” receiving, both completions, for 76 yards rushing and 33 receiving. With Michael Bush’s seven carries, Trestman’s backs accounted for 15 touches out of the Bears’ 36 plays.
The Cat Forte is out of the bag.
Second was Cutler remarking this week that he is becoming “more and more comfortable with” Alshon Jeffery. The Raiders should have listened; Jeffery was targeted on eight of Cutler’s 21 first-half throws, caught seven, and played like the kind of receiver you trade up in a second round to get (which the Bears did).
Best guess: The Bears didn’t mind “revealing” that their offense will indeed be more than Cutler to Brandon Marshall. That hookup was anything but, with Marshall dropping two or three passes, depending upon interpretation, and catching none of four on the night.
What the Bears wanted to see:
And the Bears still led 27-3 at halftime. They scored the first four times they had the ball, three of them touchdowns. The offense piled up 252 yards on 36 plays, 110 of the yards rushing.
Yes it’s only preseason but the No. 1 offense with Forte and Bush also ran for 106 yards in the first half against San Diego.
More important in the overall, the Bears got a virtually gaffe-free performance from Cutler, precisely what the offense needs. He threw zero interceptions and took zero sacks. He took off twice on scrambles and made that decision quickly, spotting an opening and getting through it. He threw passes to seven different receivers in just the first two quarters.
[RELATED: Forte, Bush looking like 'Trestman backs']
The defense had two takeaways (interceptions by cornerback Tim Jennings and nickel back Isaiah Frey) and a third-down sack (Charles Tillman) in the span of Oakland’s first five possessions.
Defensive end Julius Peppers got in his first snaps of preseason after sitting out the first two games with a hamstring strain. He played less than a half but...
What the Bears didn’t want to see:
Dropped passes. Six in the first half, three by Marshall, two by Martellus Bennett and one by tight end Fendi Onobun who now has muffed two TD catches in as many weeks.
Rookie right tackle Jordan Mills had a false-start penalty, the first by the No. 1 offensive line through this preseason.
Jonathan Bostic continued to play with speed and a consistent ability to find the football. Just not always soon enough. He was beaten badly for a touchdown in the deep middle by tight end Nick Kasa, a rookie sixth-round pick.
Wide receiver Earl Bennett remains out with a concussion from three weeks ago and the offense has not had a wideout step out and prove he can provide a No. 3 receiver for the nickel offense.