Starters on defense for Bears have a rough night
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter August 14, 2014 10:22PM
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 14: Marqise Lee #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars breaks away from Kelvin Hayden #24 of the Chicago Bears for a touchdown during the first quarter of a preseason game at Soldier Field on August 14, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Updated: August 15, 2014 12:17AM
Stephen Paea had plopped down on the bench Thursday night when someone screamed for the defense to run back on the field.
“I was like, ‘Didn’t they just kick the ball off?’ ’’ the defensive tackle said.
The Jacksonville Jaguars had, but Eric Weems fumbled the first-quarter kick, sending the defense back to their marathon first frame.
The Jaguars ran 26 plays against the Bears’ defensive starters in the first quarter alone. The Bears had eight.
Against the starters, the Jaguars scored 13 points — two field goals and, after the fumble, a touchdown — in a game the Bears rallied to win 20-19.
“There’s probably 10 times more good stuff then there is bad stuff to take away from it,” said defensive end Jared Allen after his Bears debut. “And that’s what we’ll build on.
“It’s Week 2 of the preseason.”
Maybe so, but the Bears made the Jaguars look better than their 15.4 points per game — the worst in the league last year — would indicate.
The same was true of quarterback Chad Henne, who last week led his team to a whopping four yards on 17 plays.
Against the Bears’ starters — who played the first quarter — Henne completed 11 of 15 passes for 116 yards and one touchdown. He took one sack.
His final passer rating of 112.4 was almost four times that of Eagles starter Nick Foles, who posted a 38.4 against the Bears last week.
Next week’s opponent, the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, will “score 21 points on three drives” if the Bears play the same way, Paea said.
The Jaguars went no-huddle on their first two drives, both of which ended in a Josh Scobee field goal.
The first drive ended when Jon Bostic scuttled Toby Gerhart’s third-and-one try; the second ended when Marqise Lee was stopped seven yards shy of the end zone.
The Jaguars converted three of five third-down chances against the starters.
“Penalties and third downs,” safety Ryan Mundy said, shaking his head.
When Weems fumbled the ensuing kick, the Jaguars used a short field for their only touchdown of the half.
Paea started the drive with a sack. Trevor Scott seemingly had another one on third-and-13, but Kelvin Hayden was flagged for illegal contact.
The Jaguars later scored on a six-yard catch by Lee.
“That turnover on special teams killed us,” Paea said. “There should be no excuse.
“I see it as a good thing because we get to see ourselves, what we’re going to do against it.”
Allen said short fields and red-zone situations are good to have — at least in the preseason.
“It’s good to know that just because you bent on a play, you’re not going to break and just give up big scores,” he said.