NFL Preseason Preview - Jacksonville (1-0) at Chicago (1-0)
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bears will play their second home preseason game in less than a week when they host Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Soldier Field on Thursday.
Chicago opened exhibition play on a positive note last Friday when tight end Zach Miller caught two touchdown passes and the Bears upended the Philadelphia Eagles, 34-28, in the preseason opener for both teams.
Jay Cutler threw a 10-yard pass to Miller in the back of the end zone late in the first quarter, and Miller caught another touchdown pass from Jordan Palmer in the second.
Cutler finished with 85 yards on 9-of-13 passing for the Bears, whose backups also proved effective. Palmer completed 8-of-11 throws for 104 yards with an interception, while Jimmy Clausen tossed for two scores.
Clausen connected with Chris Williams and Micheal Spurlock for TDs after Matt Barkley's scoring strike to David Fluellen had given the Eagles a 28-17 lead early in the second half.
"It was a good win," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "It took all 90 guys and all four quarters to win this game. I'm really excited about that. It's going to take all 60 minutes to win games all season."
The Jags, meanwhile, also started in the black thanks to Denard Robinson's touchdown run in the fourth quarter which lifted Jacksonville to a 16-10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Bortles, the third pick in this year's draft, went 7-for-11 passing for 117 yards in his first NFL action, leading the team on one scoring drive in about two quarters of action.
Chad Henne started under center for the Jaguars and was 4-for-7 for 30 yards.
"The main thing is we're all excited to be here," said Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny. "We just need to work on improving our communication and getting better each day."
Henne will get the nod again in Chicago but Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley indicated he might change plans and enable Bortles to take reps with the first team before the final preseason game, his original intention.
"I wouldn't count on it this week," Bradley said before gushing about his young QB: "He's tough He'll stand in there. We believe that he'll have the poise in pressure situations when teams are applying pressure."
Running back Toby Gerhart, who signed a three-year deal with the Jags as a free agent in the offseason, missed the preseason opener with a hip flexor but could return against the Bears.
"I don't know what the whole process is to (be able) return to the field, but each and every day, the workouts we've done, I've felt good and (the hip has) felt better," Gerhart told the Florida Times-Union.
The Bears and Jaguars will be meeting for just the second time in the preseason. The two teams originally squared off in 2002 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. with Jacksonville winning 24-16.
08/12 13:50:41 ET