Jesper Horsted’s three-touchdown night and a pick six by Tre Roberson were enough for Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears to knock off the Tennessee Titans 27-24 in the NFL Week 3 preseason finale, ending Tennessee’s hopes of an undefeated preseason.
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Justin Fields showcased why everyone in Chicago is clamoring for him to step into the starting quarterback role on his touchdown pass, rolling out to his right and delivering a dime to Horsted in the end zone.
Justin Fields’ ball-placement is ELITE
— PFF (@PFF) August 29, 2021
There was a noticeable dip in Fields’ average time to throw and average depth of target in this game, dialing back the aggressiveness a bit.
Justin Fields by week
|Average depth of target||Average time to throw|
|Week 1 vs. Dolphins||10.5||3.8 seconds|
|Week 2 vs. Bills||10.6||3.6 seconds|
|Week 3 vs. Titans||6.5||2.8 seconds|
Nick Foles got the ball out even quicker and shorter than Fields with an average time to throw of 2.2 seconds and an average depth of target 4.2 yards downfield. It was effective, as Foles completed 10-of-13 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
Damien Williams got very little going on the ground in limited action. Williams finished with 11 yards on five carries, and 12 of those yards came after contact.
No Bears running back finished with more than 30 rushing yards, and Khalil Herbert was the only one targeted multiple times in the passing game. Herbert caught one of two targets, dropping one
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Jesper Horsted led all Bears tight ends in offensive snaps, and he made the most of his opportunity to shine in a crowded position group. Horsted brought down all five of his targets for 104 yards and three touchdowns. Thirteen of his 21 routes in the game came from the slot.
No other Chicago receiver topped 20 receiving yards in the game.
This performance did little to assuage concerns about Chicago’s offensive line entering the regular season. They only allowed pressure on six of 26 dropbacks, but three of those pressures came on the first two drives against Tennessee’s first-team defensive line — on five dropbacks.
The group also got little push on the ground. The Bears finished finished the game with -2 rushing yards before contact.
Eddie Goldman made his presence felt early on in the run game with two first-quarter run stops.
Trevis Gipson consistently got into the backfield. He ended the night winning over 20% of his pass-rushing snaps, and one of his pressures resulted in a pick-six.
Christian Jones was also active, leading all players with 11 defensive snaps as the first contact defender and four run stops.
Joel Iyiegbuniwe rounded out an impressive night for Chicago’s linebackers with a tackle for loss in the run game, a quarterback pressure and a pass breakup.
|Player||Outside CB snaps||Slot CB snaps||Box snaps||Deep/FS snaps|
|Thomas Graham Jr.||41||0||1||0|
Duke Shelley led all Chicago defenders with 24 defensive snaps in the slot. On three targets in the slot, Shelley allowed two completions for 28 yards and broke up a Barkley pass.
Tre Roberson flashed on a two-play sequence in the second quarter that resulted in a tackle for loss and pick six.
|Player||Passing attempts||Interceptions||Turnover-worthy plays|
Over 65% of Barkley’s passing yards in the game came after the catch, and he completed only three of nine passes past the first down marker.
With Derrick Henry, Darrynton Evans and Jeremy McNichols all sitting this one out, Mekhi Sargent saw plenty of action. Sargent carried the ball 17 times for 51 yards and a touchdown, and he caught his lone target.
Brian Hill and Javian Hawkins cycled in later on. Both Hill (63 rushing yards) and Hawkins (49 rushing yards) joined Sargent with at least 40 yards on the ground. The two combined for seven of the 11 rushing conversions for Tennessee in the game.
Khari Blasingame had an active night at fullback, as well. Both of his carries resulted in first downs, and he turned his two targets into 56 receiving yards, including a 50-yard catch and run on a screen.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Cameron Batson led the way at wide receiver with four receptions on 12 routes for 45 yards and four conversions. Batson’s night was capped off by a back-shoulder touchdown reception on fourth down.
|Player||First half routes run||First half blocking snaps|
Right tackle is the biggest question mark on the offensive line entering the regular season, and David Quessenberry drew the start at right tackle over Kendall Lamm and Ty Sambrailo in this game. Unlike Sambrailo and Lamm, Quessenberry wasn’t charged with a pressure allowed, per PFF’s first-run analysis.
Teair Tart was able to have success against Chicago’s first-team offensive line, getting home for multiple pressures and winning another rep in just eight pass-rushing snaps (pending review).
The defensive line did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage in the run game. Chicago ran for -0.1 yards before contact per rushing attempt on the night.
First-round rookie cornerback Caleb Farley got plenty of work in his 15 coverage snaps. Farley allowed four receptions on five targets for 29 yards in that limited action, per PFF’s first-run analysis.
Breon Borders was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty, but he had a strong showing overall with just 15 receiving yards allowed on three targets and two coverage stops, or tackles that resulted in a win for the defense based on down and distance.