The Chicago Bears are headed to Indianapolis to face the Colts in their second preseason game on Saturday. The Bears are coming off a 23-17 victory over the Titans last week, while the Colts suffered a loss at the hands of the Buffalo Bills by a score of 23-19.
As the Bears begin joint practices with the Colts, let's look forward to Saturday and what to watch out for in the matchup.
More Of The Rookies
The rookies didn't disappoint in last week's win. The ones who showed out the most were Tyrique Stevenson, Noah Sewell, Zacch Pickens, and Roschon Johnson.
So far, Tyrique Stevenson has made a solid bid to win a starting role on Matt Eberflus' defense. His performance against Tennessee added to his strong camp, as he recorded seven tackles, 1 TFL, and a PBU. Stevenson showed excellent coverage skills, physicality and was flying all over the field. Another strong performance in Indy could help solidify his case for the role of the Bears' CB2 alongside Jaylon Johnson next season.
Noah Sewell had a very underrated performance on Saturday, posting Four tackles and one sack. Sewell was everywhere on the field, making plays. Another strong performance in Indy would build up his case to be the top depth piece in the linebacker room behind Tremaine Edmunds, T.J. Edwards, and Jack Sanborn.
Zacch Pickens was also one of the rookies who showed out, recording four tackles and one sack. It will be interesting to see how Pickens performs against the Colts, who will likely field a more capable offensive line than the Titans did last week.
RB Roschon Johnson was hard to bring down in his debut. Johnson notched an impressive 47 yards after contact and four broken tackles, with a highlight 20+ yard run where he broke multiple tackles. Johnson is currently listed as the third RB on the depth chart, behind Khalil Herbert and D'Onta Foreman, but another strong performance on Saturday could help the rookie move further up the depth chart.
Rookie WR Tyler Scott struggled with a brutal fumble. The rookie fourth-round pick will look to bounce back against the Colts.
While first-round pick Darnell Wright didn't play much, he put up some impressive reps. It's pretty much a guarantee he'll play more snaps against the Colts, so it will be interesting to see Wright perform in extended action on Saturday.
Yannick Ngakoue and Demarcus Walker already fill the starting edge rusher spots, but the rotational roles are still wide open and for the taking. After solid performances by multiple edge rushers last week, the competition for those spots will be hotter than ever in Indianapolis.
Trevis Gipson was spectacular last week, with 5 tackles, 1 sack, 3 QB hits, 8 QB pressures, and a 21.9% pass-rush win rate. After shockingly being buried deep in the depth chart, Gipson shined and seemed to have secured his roster spot with his performance. Seeing him continue his form in the preseason will still be exciting, and it'll help him build a more significant role.
Terrell Lewis, a player making waves in camp, also impressed in-game. The former LA Ram notched two sacks and a forced fumble against Tennessee. Continuing his success in training camp and the preseason will be imperative for the former third-round pick to make the final 52 and earn himself a role on the defense.
UDFA Jalen Harris also firmly pushed for a roster spot on Saturday. Harris was great, recording 1.5 sacks, 3 QB hits, and a 23.1 pass-rush win rate which was T-1st on the team last week. The son of former Chicago Bear Sean Harris will continue competing for a roster spot throughout the preseason.
Another name that could make noise on Saturday is Rasheem Green and Dominique Robinson. Both players played limited snaps against the Titans, but their roster spots are much safer than guys like Lewis and Harris. Green and Robinson still need strong preseason performances to find themselves as key rotational pieces in 2023.
Offensive Line Depth
Nate Davis finally returned to practice on August 16th, but this serves as a reminder that offensive lines need depth to be a successful unit. The Bears will need the backup offensive line to hold down the fort in case of an injury or anything else to a starter that will take them off the field, and the preseason is a great way to decipher what backup offensive linemen can do that job.
A player who impressed guard Ja'Tyre Carter. The 2022 seventh-round pick had a 93.9 PFF grade and allowed 0 sacks in Saturday's win, which was T-1st on the team. Backup tackle Larry Borom was the other player with a 93.9 PFF grade. Both players could become key depth pieces on the offensive line for 2023 if they continue their pace in the preseason.
Other players to watch out for are Dieter Eiselen, Doug Kramer, and Alex Leatherwood. The former first-round pick Leatherwood will be especially intriguing to watch, as he could still shine the talent and ability that made him a first-rounder in 2021. Eiselen posted a 92.1 PFF grade last week, and Kramer showed potential in the previous week's win. All three linemen will likely receive significant playing time on Saturday, which could help them build their case for a roster spot.
Recently added Logan Stenberg will throw in more competition. The former fourth-round pick played 228 snaps in 2022 and had a poor 39.3 PFF grade. Despite that, he would provide some depth for the offensive line if he makes the roster. Stenberg also has more NFL experience than the other players named, which could help his case for a roster spot.
Bears Vs. Colts
The Bears are set to play the Colts on Saturday at 7 P.M. EST. These players must make the most of this game to build their case for a highly coveted roster spot. It'll certainly be exciting to see how these next few weeks unfold.