Week four of the preseason is finally here. We're looking at the game and what the Bears have yet to figure out.
Welcome to week four of the preseason. And thank goodness it's here, because after Friday's debacle, it couldn't have come at a better time. And of course, it can't be week four of the Bears' preseason without their customary game against the Cleveland Browns.
This time adds a little intrigue, as the Bears get to see first-hand how Johnny Manziel plays football, as well as the return of Rex Grossman, as he faces his old team. Let's get through this last preseason game and get to week one against Buffalo.
Last Year: Finished 4-12, good for last in the AFC North.
This Year: Still the same place as everybody else, figuring out what they have. As far as preseason is concerned, the Browns are 0-3.
When Last We Met: Last year the Bears contributed to one of the Browns' twelve losses, 38-31. Jay Cutler and Jason Campbell exchanged interceptions for touchdowns, Martellus Bennett coughed up a fumble for a touchdown, and Cutler still threw three touchdowns to drive the team to the win.
Statistics (As Of 2013):
|Points||308 (27th)||406 (23rd)|
|Total Yardage||5423 (18th)||5319 (9th)|
|Rushing Yardage||1383 (27th)||1781 (18th)|
|Passive Yardage||4040 (11th)||3538 (8th)|
We won't spend too much time talking about the Cleveland Browns in preseason here, because it's week four and quite frankly, the Bears have their own guys to be concerned with. But the Bears will see a lot from the Browns, so we'd be remiss not to discuss it.
According to the Browns' own web site, there's a chance all four quarterbacks on the Browns' roster (Brian Hoyer, Manziel, Grossman,and Connor Shaw) will see time, as they try to shake out the bottom of their quarterbacking roster. Hoyer and Manziel are confirmed to be starter and backup, respectively, but the Browns may be trying to carry Grossman or Shaw, and Shaw may start the fourth quarter.
Other battles that might be settled on the Browns' side include a late cornerback spot between Aaron Berry, Leon McFadden, Isaiah Trufant and K'Waun Williams; seeing what they have in Nate Burleson as he competes for a wide receiver spot; and if someone can unseat Dion Lewis as the third running back on the roster as he splits carries with Isaiah Crowell and Chris Ogbannaya.
On the Bears' own side, we'll do it a little more justice.
Cornerbacks: Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings, and Kyle Fuller are locks, and Sherrick McManis' strong special teams play and cornerback play have nearly locked him in as well. The fifth spot is up in the air; with Isaiah Frey being cut, Kelvin Hayden is currently the leader in the clubhouse, but he'll be competing with C.J. Wilson, Al Louis-Jean, and Demontre Hurst for that spot.
Linebacker: Four spots are decently sewn up, between Lance Briggs, Jon Bostic, Shea McClellin, and D.J. Williams. Roster construction pretty much fills in behind that. With Jordan Senn gone, the Bears have a few options behind him. Khaseem Greene, last year's fourth round draft pick, could be safe, but Phil Emery's shown he will get away from a draft pick if he has to. UDFA Christian Jones is fighting for a spot, but it remains to be seen how much he produces. Jerry Franklin's got a little additional experience, but the Bears could get away from him to keep Green and Jones (if they keep six linebackers). A seventh opens it up for Franklin or DeDe Lattimore. Or Franklin could come in and Greene could be out. It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out.
David Fales: The Bears may be trying to put him on the practice squad, but if he shows well against Cleveland, it might make it hard to sneak him through waivers. He's playing for a 53-man spot, and could earn it, especially against a strong defense and strong secondary in Cleveland.
Third running back: The Bears have their own third-back questions to answer. Shaun Draughn is in the lead for this spot, but Jordan Lynch is expected to get a lot of playing time. Does he show enough to earn a practice squad spot, or maybe that third running back spot?
What are some of the other questions you're looking to have answered?
More from sbnation.com:
- The Bears Den: August 27, 2014 - Chicago Bears preseason news and notes
- Chicago Bears cut Isaiah Frey and James Brown, reach 75 player roster limit
- The Bears Den: August 26, 2014 - Chicago Bears preseason news and notes
- 2014 NFL Predictions: Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports has the Chicago Bears at 8-8
- In or Out: Bears final roster takes shape
- Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond