What We Saw: Preseason Week 1

Catch everything you missed from a weekend chock full of football

Titans @ Bears

Final Score: Bears 23, Titans 17

Writer: Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF on Twitter)


As the Titans come to Chicago for week one of the preseason, there was plenty to get excited about. For the Titans, there is an open competition for their QB2 spot between sophomore Malik Willis and rookie Will Levis. We also took a first look at rookie running back Tyjae Spears. For the Bears, the questions involve the crowded backfield (Khalil Herbert, rookie Roschon Johnson, and newcomers D’Onta Foreman and Travis Homer), how Justin Fields would progress as a passer, and newcomer DJ Moore. The Titans started strong, taking a 12-play drive into the end zone with a Malik Willis scramble. Then things got a bit crazy; on the Bears first drive, DJ Moore took a screen pass 62 yards for a score. After a Titans punt, Khalil Herbert took another short pass 56 yards for another score. The second quarter went like this: Bears fumbled punt. Titans interception. Bears interception. Titans Touchdown. Bears punt. Titans fumble. Bears punt. Titans fumble. Bears fumble. Titans field goal. Everything slowed down in the second half. and the Bears re-took the lead in the third with a pair of field goals (and a Titans miss). The Bears added three more points in the fourth, and that was it: Chicago wins this one 23-17. Here’s what I saw today.


Tennessee Titans




Malik Willis: 16/25, 189 yards, INT, 4 sacks | 3 carries, 22 yards


Tennessee made clear they would be swapping their quarterbacks today, and Malik Willis saw the first drive. He hit a wide-open Chris Moore for 30 yards and then completed a handful of shorter passes to get into the red zone. Willis capped it off with an untouched 2-yard run for six. On Willis’ next drive, he faced more pressure but stood strong against it. Outside of a near-pick, the rest of the drive looked good. Willis’ one interception should have been caught and truly wasn’t his fault. Willis did have two fumbles, one of which was lost on a blindside hit. Willis should be safely ahead of Levis right now as far as the QB2 spot goes.


  • Looked in control when he had time to think
  • Still played well despite frequent pressure

Missed Opportunities

  • Willis’ interception should have been a long catch
  • Willis just missed a touchdown; he had his man in the endzone and barely missed him


Will Levis: 9/14, 85 yards, INT, 4 sacks | 1 carry, 6 yards


Will Levis saw the team’s second series and had a rougher go of it. Levis was nearly picked on his second attempt, and his first series ended with a blindside sack. He looked better on his second series, making a great throw to Mason Kinsey while on the run for 21 yards. In the second half, Levis showcased his arm but struggled to his targets. Part of this, as Willis faced, was the frequent pressure.  There is definitely some potential here, but Will Levis is definitely not ready for the big stage.


  • Levis threw a game-ending pick and almost had another on his first drive

Missed Opportunities

  • On the play before the game-ending pick, Levis just missed a big completion; if he hit this pass, we may be talking about a game-winning drive.


Running Back


Tyjae Spears: 6 carries, 32 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards


Tyjae Spears played only the first series, but he was featured heavily. He made a good cut on his first run and got moving quickly for nine yards. He made a good push on the next play to convert a third and short. Spears also made a fast run outside where he took the edge from a defender thanks to his speed. Spears is definitely one to watch here and should be a fun weapon for the Titans


Hassan Haskins: 6 carries, 12 yards, TD

Jonathan Ward: 2 carries, 8 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, -3 yards

Julius Chestnut: 7 carries, 46 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards


Julius Chestnut was the last back in for the Titans, but he looked impressive. One particular carry was a 26-yard gain in the second half. Chestnut got moving fast and exploded for a big gain.



Wide Receiver/Tight End


Racey McMath: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 53 yards


Racey McMath played well today, hauling in all three of his catches. His first ball was a wide open pass from Will Levis and the other two came from Malik Willis


Mason Kinsey: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 40 yards


Mason Kinsey connected with Will Levis for a 21-yard strike. Levis had to throw on the run and Kinsey hauled it in smoothly


Kearis Jackson: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 34 yards


Kearis Jackson stood out to me on one of his two receptions for his speed with the ball. He ran well and looked impressive; let’s hope we see more next week


Tre’Shaun Harrison: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 34 yards

Chris Moore: 2 targets, 1 reception, 30 yards 


Chris Moore’s catch was a wide-open play thanks to a breakdown in coverage. He nearly fumbled the ball but he was ruled down. Moore was targeted again on the first drive and again nearly fumbled it; it was instead ruled incomplete.


Reggie Roberson: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 20 yards

Gavin Holmes: 3 targets, 1 reception, 14 yards

Josh Whyle: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 29 yards, fumble lost


Josh Whyle had two costly mistakes today. He fumbled one of his catches and tipped another on a deep ball that ended up getting picked.


Nick Westbrook-Ikhine: 2 targets, 1 reception, 8 yards

Colton Dowell: 2 targets, 1 reception, 6 yards

Justin Rigg: 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards

Kyle Phillips: 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards



Chicago Bears




Justin Fields: 3/3, 129 yards, 2 TD


Justin Fields had the dream outing today: two series, two touchdowns, and that was that. It was as easy as it looked: On the Bears’ third play, Justin Fields hit DJ Moore with a screen. Moore took it 62 yards for the score. The next drive saw three runs before Khalil Herbert took it 56 yards to the house. That was it. Fields made two good throws–his first pass to fullback Khari Blasingame for 11 yards and his last to Khalil Herbert. The Moore throw was low and a little behind, and this is a reminder that Fields can still clean his short passes up. That being said, the good far outweighs the bad, and Bears fans should enjoy the big day.


  • We need to see how this offense looks on more sustained drives; let’s see what happens next week


PJ Walker: 4/8, 19 yards, INT

Nathan Peterman: 4/6, 58 yards, sack

Tyson Bagent: 4/5, 37 yards, sack | 1 carry, -2 yards


PJ Walker and Nathan Peterman both struggled. Walker threw a particularly terrible interception on his first drive. If anything happens to Fields, this team is cooked.



Running Back


Khalil Herbert: 4 carries, 15 yards | a target, 1 reception, 56  yards


Khalil Herbert showed up big on the second drive and his day was done. He had a nice run outside on a toss play, thanks to a great lead block by rookie right tackle Darnell Wright. Three plays later, he made a good catch–despite a slight bobble–and took it 56 yards. Herbert ran free at first, but fought through multiple tackles to ensure the score. Herbert looks like the clear locked in number one option here.


Roschon Johnson: 12 carries, 44 yards | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 2 yards


Roschon Johnson saw plenty of work today, and he had a few big moments. On the Bears’ first second-half drive, Johnson took a toss play left and broke through a few tackles for 24 yards. Outside of this carry, Johnson was mostly bottled up. Roschon’s best moment of the day came on his targets. He had two extremely difficult catches and made them both. The first was a catch in traffic in the backfield where he was hit as he made the catch, Roschon held on and turned it into a one-yard gain. The other catch was another backfield target that was quickly snuffed. Johnson looks like a natural receiver–it just seems so easy when he catches the ball.


Travis Homer: 6 carries, 25 yards

D’Onta Foreman: 3 carries, 9 yards

Trestan Ebner: 3 carries, 9 yards

Khari Blasingame: 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards



Wide Receiver/Tight End


DJ Moore: 1 target, 1 reception, 62 yards, TD

DJ Moore caught an off-target screen pass and proceeded to run it 62 yards for a score. I had two takeaways from this play: DJ Moore is the clear WR1 for Chicago and should easily lead the team in targets in receptions. My second takeaway was that I loved how OC Luke Getsy used Justin Fields’ running ability to create quick-hit options that worked well. Moore had a cushion around him and it looked like the Titans were playing safely back. Clever play calling will further help Moore. Chicago, you have your number one!


Isaiah Ford: 1 target, 1 reception, 37 yards

Daurice Fountain: 1 target, 1 reception, 25 yards

Nsimba Walker: 3 targets, 1 reception, 15 yards

Joe Reed: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards

Tyler Scott: 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards, fumble


Tyler Scott returned some kicks but only saw one target. He made a nice catch in traffic but didn’t secure the ball and lost it. This is not a great start for Scott, and there is too much competition (Mooney, Kmet, Claypool) for him to be making these mistakes. Let’s hope for a better showing next week.


Velus Jones Jr: 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards, fumble


Velus Jones Jr fumbled yet another punt–one he should have just let go–and as in now relegated to being a walking punchline. Jones is looking like a roster cut unless something drastic changes here.


Stephen Carlson: 2 targets, 1 reception, 4 yards

Jared Pinkney: 1 target, 1 reception, 2 yards

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