Bears News: Eberflus on loss: “We didn’t take care of the football at the end of It”

Bears News: Eberflus on loss: “We didn’t take care of the football at the end of It”

by - Correspondent -

TAMPA - What can a head coach really say after such a difficult loss for the second week in a row? This loss was not a down-to-the-wire game like that of other NFL teams this week. Maybe it was 2:18 left in the game when the score was 20-17, but not by the two-minute warning. Again, dreadful mistakes by the offense, specifically quarterback Justin Fields, led to the loss.

“I thought the guys battled to the end, (gave) ourselves a chance to win it at the end, and then, you know, we didn’t take care of the football at the end of it,” head coach Matt Eberflus said. “But we had a chance to do that.”

In Fields’ defense, when you get sacked six times, bringing his career total to 101 sacks over 29 games, it is difficult to make a lot happen. Up until the last two minutes of the game, the Bears did not have any turnovers. However, Fields still did have a fumble, but offensive lineman Lucas Patrick was in the right place to be able to recover it. Things like that are mental errors that can be prevented.

Eberflus feels it is a matter of instincts, but it is definitely an area that needs to improve if Fields hopes to be the quarterback of the future in Chicago.

“That’s all instincts. You know, it really is,” Eberflus argued. “When you got a guy coming on you like that, it’s hard, you either got to ride up the pocket, and if the pocket’s clean inside, you got to ride up into that B gap and deliver the ball, you know. So, that’s many times the case. Sometimes, he can feel it, and he can spin out of it. He’s done that before. But, you prefer him to ride up.”

Overall, the message is clear - clean up the mistakes and improve overall as a team. Wide receiver Chase Claypool had a little bit of redemption today with a 20-yard touchdown. But the more promising increase in productivity at wide receiver was DJ Moore. Moore had two receptions for 25 yards in the opener. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their first away game of the season, he had six receptions for 104 yards.

On the injury front, things were not going well for the Bears.

Receiver Darnell Mooney exited the game with an apparent knee injury, although it does not seem to be serious, and thus his status for Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs does not appear to be in question.

Defensively, safety Eddie Jackson suffered a foot injury in the first quarter and did not return to the game. Eberflus was incredibly vague regarding his injury but is “positive” right now but constantly reiterated that “we’ll see” where it goes. Fellow safety Jaquan Brisker also exited the game at one point as a result of dehydration. However, he was able to return and finish the game. For play calling, it is unclear if Eberflus will be calling the defensive plays next week.

If you want to look for a bright side, every team in the NFC North lost in Week 2. The Minnesota Vikings fell to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night with a score of 34-28. The Detroit Lions were not able to survive the Seattle Seahawks in overtime while the Green Bay Packers blew a 12-point lead from the start of the fourth quarter to lose 25-24.

With that being the case, despite the past two games, Chicago is still only one game behind the top teams in the division - the Packers and the Lions. That means that even though these games have been difficult for Bears fans to watch, especially Fields’s two interceptions (including the pick-six at the end), they are still in contention and can turn things around to make a run for the playoffs.

Is a turnaround likely to start against the Kansas City Chiefs? Given their sluggish win against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2, it is clear that they are currently not the same caliber team as they were last season. So, if the Bears are able to make a stand on defense, protect the football on offense, and further develop that chemistry between Fields and Moore, they could have a chance in this matchup.

The Bears will face the Chiefs on Sunday, September 24 (3:25 p.m./FOX). The Chiefs have a 1-1 record after losing their opener to Detroit. They are currently in a tie for first in their division with the Las Vegas Raiders.

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