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Scouting Report: Bears

A look at what the Steelers will be up against on Sunday afternoon at the Chicago Bears:


BAD NEWS BEARS:** New quarterback Mike Glennon has been at his best in fourth quarters through two games with the Bears. Glennon completed 18 of 27 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown in the final 15 minutes of Chicago's 23-17, season-opening loss to Atlanta. And he went 16-for-25 passing for 166 yards and a score in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's 29-7 loss at Tampa.

Unfortunately for Chicago, the Bears faced fourth-quarter deficits on both occasions (20-10 against the Falcons, 29-0 against the Buccaneers). The Atlanta game ended on three consecutive incompletions and a sack after the Bears had reached the Falcons' 5-yard line with 21 seconds left in regulation. And in Tampa, the Bears came away empty on fourth-quarter drives that reached the Buccaneers' 14 and the Tampa Bay 7 before finally scoring with 1:43 remaining.


POOR RECEPTION:** The Bears already have two wide receivers on the reserve/injured list, Cam Meredith (shoulder) and Kevin White (knee). Wide receiver Markus Wheaton (finger) hasn't played yet this season but appears poised to make his 2017 debut against the Steelers, his former team.

The lack of continuity and consistency at the position, coupled with Glennon arriving this season as an unrestricted free agent from Tampa Bay, has made getting the ball down the field in the passing game challenging. The Bears' longest completion of the first half at Tampa went for 15 yards at Tampa (Chicago's longest of the game went for 20). Dropped passes have also been a regular occurrence.

INJURY ISSUES: Inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski suffered a pec/chest injury in Tampa that prevented him from practicing through Thursday of this week. Kwiatkoski had been replacing Jerrell Freeman, who is already on the reserve/injured list (pec).

The Bears also lost right guard Josh Sitton (rib) and left guard Tom Compton (hip) in the Tampa Bay game. Cody Whitehair ended up starting at center and also playing left and right guard against the Buccaneers.


GROUND TO A HALT:** Chicago ran for 20 yards on 16 carries in Tampa. The Bears ran for negative yards six times and gained 2 or fewer yards 12 times (including the six carries that lost yardage). Running back Jordan Howard rushed for 1,313 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry last season. He has 59 yards and is averaging 2.7 yards per attempt this season.

REINFORCEMENTS: Guard Kyle Long was a full practice participant on Thursday, an indication he's ready to make it back after ankle surgery that cost him the final eight games of last season and the first two games of this season. Cornerback Prince Amukamara (ankle) was also a full participant on Thursday in advance of a potential 2017 debut in the Steelers game.

RECORD-SETTING ROOKIE: Running back Tarik Cohen (fourth round, North Carolina  A&T) accounted for 158 all-purpose yards in the opener against Atlanta, the most by a Bears rookie in a season debut. Cohen compiled 66 yards on five rushes, 47 yards on eight receptions and 45 yards on three punt returns. Cohen caught eight more passes in Tampa, where he lined up at wide receiver at times, which gave him a Bears' rookie-record 16 receptions in the first two weeks of a career (since 1950). That's the third-best total in NFL history behind Earl Cooper (19, San Francisco, 1980) and Anquan Boldin (18, Arizona, 2003).

FOUR OF A KIND: Amukamara's availability would complete the secondary the Bears attempted to rebuild after last season with players who weren't with the team last season. Amukamara (Jacksonville), fellow cornerback Marcus Cooper Sr. (Arizona) and safety Quintin Demps (Houston) were signed as unrestricted free agents. Safety Eddie Jackson was drafted on the fourth round out of Alabama.


SPECIAL EDITION:** Punter Pat O'Donnell is first in the NFC and second in the NFL in gross average (51.5). Kicker Connor Barth's only attempt of the season resulted in a 54-yard field goal at Atlanta. It was Barth's 18th career field goal of 50-plus yards. Cohen is third in the NFC and fifth in the NFL in punt return average (11.0). He fumbled a punt return in Tampa and the Buccaneers gained possession at the Chicago 13.

RUSH HOUR: Three of Chicago's four sacks this season have been produced by defensive linemen (two by defensive end Akiem Hicks and one by nose tackle Eddie Goldman). Outside linebacker Willie Young also has a sack.

SELF-INFLICTED WOUNDS: The Bears' defense was called for holding a combined four times on the Buccaneers' first three possessions as Tampa Bay built a 17-0 lead. Three of the infractions occurred on third downs (two against inside linebacker Danny Travathan and one against Young). One was declined (holding against Demps on a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jameis Winston to wide receiver Mike Evans).

STAT THAT MATTERS: The Bears had four turnovers against the Buccaneers (Cohen's fumbled punt return, a Glennon fumble and two Glennon interceptions, one of which was returned 47 yards for a touchdown). Tampa Bay turned the ball over once. That helps explain how a game that ended with a disparity of 1 yard in total offense (311-310 Tampa Bay) also ended with a score of 29-7.

HE SAID IT: "What you've seen so far is you've seen an offense that, other than an underneath route, can't complete a football. You see a lack of timing and execution between quarterback and a receiving corps that has been decimated by injuries." _ Fox analyst Mark Schlereth midway through the third quarter of Chicago's 29-7 loss to Tampa Bay (the Bears trailed 26-0 at the time).

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