5 takeaways from Bears' win over Chiefs in preseason opener


CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- The Bears kicked off their preseason with a 19-14 win over the Chiefs on Saturday at Soldier Field.

After trailing 14-0 at halftime, the Bears rallied back in the second half while showcasing promise on both sides of the football. Chicago's victory came after a sluggish start and as the poor playing surface conditions at Soldier Field stole some attention from the game.

Here are five takeaways from the Bears' victory.

1. Fields, offense strive for improvement
Bears coach Matt Eberflus planned for quarterback Justin Fields and the starting offense to work between 15 to 20 plays Saturday. They ended up working 18 snaps over the course of three underwhelming possessions.

The Bears punted on their first five possessions, including the three operated by the starting offense. The struggles were mostly around Fields, who finished 4-of-7 for 48 yards while adding a 10-yard carry.

After the game, Fields noted the focus will be on cleaning up the miscues and improving.

“Pretty much everything,” Fields said. “There’s always room to improve. We're not perfect at anything.”

Fields connected on a 25-yard completion to top receiver Darnell Mooney, who made a terrific play in tight coverage. He later hit receiver Tajae Sharpe on a 26-yard strike along the sideline as Sharpe made a spectacular one-handed catch.

But the Bears struggled to protect Fields during his three series, which included a play in the end zone in which his left leg was scraped by a cleat and several knockdowns in the pocket.

Fields also took a late hit late in the first quarter, a play on which he expected the Chiefs to get flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty. He didn't get the call.

“I guess I’ll just have to wait a few years, maybe four or five years, before I get that one,” Fields said. “Hopefully I get it soon.”

Fortunately for Fields, he escaped the preseason opener unscathed. The Bears will return to the practice field Monday morning at Halas Hall.

2. Brisker shines
Bears rookie safety Jaquan Brisker understands why he was drafted by Chicago.

“They brought me here to make plays, create turnovers, make big hits, great tackles -- and lead them to the playoffs and a championship,” said Brisker, the No. 48 overall pick in the NFL Draft in late April.

Brisker showcased those abilities during his preseason debut Saturday, recording four tackles, a tackle for a loss and nearly hauling in an interception late in the first half.

The 23-year-old Brisker projects to start at safety for the Bears alongside Eddie Jackson. He has worked with the first-team defense throughout the course of training camp, a sign of trust from the team.

Brisker has proved himself early on and inspired hope in what his future holds.

3. Looking Sharpe
As the Bears search for solutions at wide receiver, the veteran Sharpe is stepping up.

Sharpe had two receptions for 44 yards Saturday while gaining a stronger trust from Fields. That included the outstanding one-handed catch along the sideline, which certainly made an impression on Fields.

"He has good range, great hands, great ball skills,” Fields said. “I'm excited to see what he can do for us this year."

The 27-year-old Sharpe is the most experienced wide receiver in the Bears’ group, as he's entering his seventh NFL season and playing for his fourth team. Sharpe has 117 receptions for 1,397 yards and eight touchdowns in 66 career games, but he hasn't topped the 41 catches he had for the Titans in his rookie season in 2016.

With N’Keal Harry (ankle) and Byron Pringle (quad) each sidelined with injuries, the Bears are looking to solidify their wide receiver group. Sharpe showed what he can do.

4. Local boy makes good
Lake Zurich product Jack Sanborn only got a glimpse at his cell phone Saturday afternoon to see the overwhelming number of text messages.

Sanborn recorded an interception in his Soldier Field debut along with five tackles and a fumble recovery. He stepped in at linebacker with the Bears’ second-team defense and continued to make plays.

“My mindset is just improving each day,” Sanborn said. “Show them a consistency. Try to improve each day.”

The Bears could carry five or six linebackers on their 53-man roster, and it will be intriguing to see how that group is filled out. An undrafted rookie, Sanborn made a case Saturday that he belongs.

5. Clean operation
During the national anthem just before noon Saturday, Eberflus paused for a moment to appreciate where he has come from in his journey to becoming a first-time NFL head coach. Then he shifted his focus to the task at hand.

Eberflus was hoping for a clean operation in his first game leading the Bears, and he felt that was accomplished Saturday. Eberflus praised the communication with all three coordinators in preparing for in-game decisions, was pleased with the Bears getting the right personnel on and off the field throughout the game and he was even successful in his first career challenge – what was originally called a completed pass for the Chiefs along the sideline was overturned and ruled incomplete.

“We were all on the same page the entire day,” Eberflus said.

With 29 days remaining until the Bears kick off the regular season against the 49ers on Sept. 11, every details matters for Eberflus and his team.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.

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