Bears News: Eberflus on loss to Browns:
Jeffrey Becker - USA Today Sports

Bears News: Eberflus on loss to Browns: "We got to make the plays down the stretch"

by - Correspondent -

CLEVELAND - Just when Chicago finally seemed to have turned a corner, they found yet another way to lose by blowing a lead in the fourth quarter. Head coach Matt Eberflus now officially will have another losing season as the head coach of the Chicago Bears, perhaps sealing his fate to leave the team next year.

Speaking to the media following the game, Eberflus said it simply came down to the Browns making more plays.

“At the end of the day, the Cleveland Browns made more plays down the end than we did, and our guys made a lot of them out there today, but certainly that’s what happened at the very end,” Eberflus said. “So, get back to work tomorrow, that’ll be the focus, and the guys will have their eyes forward and it stings. It’s going to sting, and having this loss is always hard.”

With four minutes left in the game, the Bears had a seven-point lead. With 32 seconds left, Cleveland kicked a field goal to take a three-point lead. With five seconds, since Chicago was unable to get into field goal range, they went for yet another hail mary from the Browns 45-yard line. In probably one of the more dramatic hail mary attempts in the league this season, the ball was knocked into the air, fell right into the hands of receiver Darnell Mooney who subsequently dropped it, kicked the ball to Browns safety D’Anthony Bell, and it was intercepted.

Eberflus stated that the game overall, but specifically that play, just came down to fundamentals.

“It comes down to the fundamentals. When you watch the tape and look at it, it’ll be that, and it’ll be about playmaking,” Eberflus said. “We got to make the plays down the stretch and that’s what it’s always going to be about.”

Catching the ball is certainly a fundamental part of being a wide receiver, something that did not quite work between quarterback Justin Fields and Mooney all game, as Mooney only had two receptions off of eight targets.

Hail Marys also did not go well in this game. It is unusual for a team to have two Hail Marys in one game, but that is exactly what Chicago did, finishing each half with one. The first attempt was a bit controversial. With the Bears at Cleveland’s 37, a field goal would have been 55 yards, tying a career-long for kicker Cairo Santos who is arguably having the best season of his career.

However, due to the wind, Eberflus elected to go for the hail mary attempt instead. That, too was intercepted.

“At the end of the half, we got it down right outside of field goal range, and that was going into the wind, and that was just too far of a kick for us to make that attempt there,” Eberflus said. “That’s why we (ended) up throwing it to the end zone.”

To add insult to injury, Chicago also lost one of their offensive linemen. Teven Jenkins, who started the season on injured reserve and did not play until October, suffered a concussion in this game, making him questionable for next week against the Arizona Cardinals (3:25 p.m/FOX). Typically players miss a week, so fans should not keep their hopes up for his availability in the Cardinals matchup.

With this loss, Chicago is effectively eliminated from the playoffs. There is still a statistical chance but with how close the race for the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds is, fans should be more focused on their draft pick than their playoff chances.

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