Here are some of the notable numbers and stats from the Bears' preseason-opening win over the Tennessee Titans Saturday at Soldier Field:
Sacks by the Bears defense.
The Bears' front seven put the pressure on Tennessee's offensive line throughout Saturday's game. Defensive end Terrell Lewis led the unit with 2.0 sacks, including a strip/sack on Titans quarterback Malik Willis in the second quarter. The fumble was recovered by rookie tackle Zacch Pickens, who recorded a sack on quarterback Will Levis during Tennessee's second drive of the game.
Pickens said the defensive line's "energy is always high" and the unit "expected nothin' less than our best" heading into the preseason game.
"I just stayed true to myself, stayed true to my teammates," Pickens said. "We all know what we can do in here. We don't listen to nothin' else. We stick [by] each other. We know we can rush, and we got to show that."
Tackles by rookie cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, which led the Bears defense.
The second-round pick out of Miami excelled in his first NFL performance as his team-high seven tackles were all solo efforts. Stevenson's intensity led to a pass breakup on Levis' attempt to receiver Colton Dowell during the Titans' second drive.
The rookie also recorded a tackle-for-loss of three yards in the second quarter when he stopped running back Jonathan Ward after a short pass from Levis.
"The reason he's here is because of that," coach Matt Eberflus said about Stevenson's physicality, "because of his length and because he's physical. And you saw that today. He made a lot of good tackles – crack replace tackle, open field space tackle, even the tackle on the sideline … Overall, physical and he's been wired in the whole time. It's good to see him."
Scoring drives on two possessions for the first-team offense.
Quarterback Justin Fields threw touchdown passes in each of the two drives the first-team offense played. Just three plays into the Bears' first drive of the preseason, Fields connected with DJ Moore on a screen pass and the receiver took it 62 yards to the end zone, which tied the game at 7-7.
The following Bears possession lasted just four plays. Fields threw another screen pass, this time to running back Khalil Herbert, who scampered 56 yards for the score. Offensive linemen Cody Whitehair and Ja'Tyre Cartercleared the path for Herbert with strong blocks downfield along with receiver Equanimeous St. Brown.
"When you have guys that can take a 3-yard pass 50 yards, that just makes my job easier." Fields said. "It's always good to have playmakers like that on the team, just competing with each other every day, competing with the defense every day. It's gonna make us better."
Takeaways by the Bears.
The defense embodied Eberflus' "HITS" principle Saturday, winning the takeaway battle thanks to a pair of fumble recoveries and two interceptions; the group also forced an additional fumble.
Safety A.J. Thomas recorded the first takeaway, intercepting Willis' pass intended for tight end Josh Whyle at the start of the second quarter. Later in the same period, safety Adrian Colbert forced and recovered a fumble after the Titans crossed midfield. Lewis' strip/sack and Pickens' recovery came on Tennessee's next drive.
"A lot of good plays by him today," Eberflus said of Lewis. "Of course, he can rush the passer, for sure. He's done a really nice job of rushing the passer."
With the Bears leading 23-17 with 19 seconds left in the game, safety Bralen Trahan secured the win by intercepting Levis' deep ball intended for receiver Kearis Jackson at the Chicago 13.
A perfect passer rating for Justin Fields.
Fields reached the highest passer rating possible Saturday as the quarterback completed all three of his pass attempts for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Fields' top passer rating in 2022 was 120.0 against the Cowboys last Oct. 30 when he finished 17-of-23 for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Last season, Fields eclipsed a 100 passer rating three times, doing so against the Vikings, Dolphins and Eagles.
Points allowed by the Bears in the second half.
While the Titans led 17-14 at halftime, the Bears defense held Tennessee scoreless in the final 30 minutes. Of the Titans' five second-half possessions, three ended inside the Bears 40-yard line.
After the Bears forced a three-and-out on the Titans' first third-quarter possession, kicker Trey Wolff missed a 48-yard field goal on Tennessee's next drive.
The Titans' third drive of the half ended with a punt after Harris sacked Willis. With less than two minutes remaining in the game, the Bears forced a turnover on downs after Tennessee reached the Chicago 10. While the Titans got the ball back with 31 seconds to play, Trahan recorded the game-sealing interception three plays later.
Fields was complimentary of the defense's performance Saturday and noted their success will boost the offense as well.
"The defense is just as good as your offense," Fields said, "so when the defense can get those sacks, cause takeaways, that's gonna put the offense in better position to score touchdowns and field goals. So anytime you have a great defense, great D-line that can disturb the quarterback and stop the run, that's not going to do anything but make our team better. … D-line did their thing today, defense did their thing with the takeaways, so definitely proud of those guys."
Field goals by Cairo Santos without a miss.
While the Bears offense scored 14 points in the first half, Santos was responsible for Chicago's nine second-half points. Santos connected on field goals from 28, 29 and 49 yards out.
In Santos' regular-season career, he has made 17 field goals of 49 yards or more, four of those occurring last season.
Check out the on-field action as the Bears take on the Tennessee Titans at Soldier Field during Week 1 of the preseason.