It was a disappointing night for most as the Chicago Bears fell 22-0 to the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field in the preseason opener.
Both first-team units struggled and there weren't many impressive individual performances but the preseason is all about development, not the scoreboard. The offense and defense ran vanilla schemes for the sake of evaluation, especially with 90 players on the roster.
Both sets of starters played a full quarter, while depth players performed for the final three quarters.
OLB Leonard Floyd
I was among the skeptics when the team traded up two spots to ninth overall to select Leonard Floyd but if last night was any indication, his future is bright.
Floyd saw time with multiple units, including the first team, and consistently flashed. He had 2 tackles, 3 pressures, 1 QB hit and drew two holding calls.
He was seen all over the field in multiple facets. His pass rush was dynamic, showing multiples moves, and he was strong against the run. He even lined up as a rover.
Overall, it was a very strong first impression for the first-round rookie.
DL Cornelius Washington
Washington had the best game out of any Bear last night. He saw time with all three units, playing in each quarter.
He had three total tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a QB hit. Washington showed up both as a pass rusher and against the run.
Sadly, at the end of the game, he suffered a knee injury and was eventually carted off. Washington has struggled with injuries throughout his career, so anything long-term would be crushing for him and would likely signal the end of his tenure in Chicago.
CB Deiondre’ Hall
Hall had a rough start to the game but the fourth-round pick had two pass breakups in a row in the second quarter, both in the end zone.
It’s obvious Hall is still adjusting to a higher level of competition and was not perfect on the night but him making an impact in the passing game on two separate plays shows that he has the ability to become a long-term starter down the line.
Hall finished the game with a team-high five combined tackles and two PBUs.
RB Ka’Deem Carey
Each running back struggled to move the ball last night due to multiple missed assignments on the offensive line but Carey stuck out as the team’s best back.
Carey rushed for just 8 yards but had 2 catches for 22 yards, including an impressive diving catch off a deflection. He also played a strong role on special teams and had a nice tackle in coverage -- although that ultimately led to him heading back to the locker room and being put in the concussion protocol.
QB Brian Hoyer
The Bears offense struggled to move the ball, did not score any points and looked inept in every phase, but Hoyer helped his case to win the primary backup job to Jay Cutler after a strong night.
Hoyer finished the night 7 of 10 for 81 yards. He was sacked three times and threw one interception, which hit Deonte Thompson in the hands.
It wasn’t a pretty night but Hoyer's performance proved the Bears have a competent backup quarterback on the roster.
Honorable Mention: LB Lamin Barrow
OG Donovan Williams
Of all the bad that came from the first preseason game, Williams took the cake. The team’s offensive line gave up a total of seven sacks and Williams was responsible for two.
Whether it was in the passing game or in the run game, Williams consistently stood out as the offensive line’s weakest link.
C/G Cody Whitehair
Last night was the second-round pick’s first NFL game and it showed. Whitehair played left guard with the first team and slid inside to center for the remainder of his playing time before being relieved by Cornelius Edison.
On the team’s second series in the second quarter, Whitehair incurred two penalties -- holding and illegal hands to the face -- had two high snaps that affected both plays and surrendered a sack to end a fourth-down play.
To put it nicely, Whitehair looked like a rookie last night. The only place to go from here is up, right? If not, Amini Silatolu could see time with the ones at left guard soon.
QB David Fales
It’s only one game but Fales appears to be the worst quarterback on the team’s current roster.
He wasn't helped by Josh Bellamy's sketchy hands but Fales went just 4-of-8 for 30 yards and took an inexcusable sack for a safety. As usual, he showed well-below-average arm strength.
Fales was sacked twice and knocked down a few more times, so it wasn't all his fault, but he also showed an inability to set his feet in the pocket before making throws.
CB De’Vante Bausby
Bausby received a lot of hype during training camp but last night, he disappointed.
Bausby allowed multiple catches and appeared overmatched all night. Growing pains are expected for a player that has little NFL experience but if he wants a shot to make the roster, Bausby's reaction time and overall coverage ability needs to improve in the next few weeks.
In three punt-return attempts tonight, the Bears fielded zero yards. Daniel Braverman had two separate returns that looked forced and, frankly, could have resulted in positive gain if he had just run forward.
Marc Mariani had the other return and couldn't find a single yard. The Bears have suffered from poor field position the past few years and if this facet of the special teams unit does not improve, it could be another uphill battle this season.