Bears News: Eberflus proud of Fields’ progress, focusing on next game

Bears News: Eberflus proud of Fields’ progress, focusing on next game

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - The Matt Eberflus era finally has another win. Primetime in October seems to be a good time of year for Chicago as their last victory prior to Thursday night against the Washington Commanders was also in October in primetime. The 14-game losing streak brought a lot of questions about the state of the franchise, but Eberflus says that the team learned a lot from that adversity and stuck together through everything.

“We’ve learned a lot of lessons together as a group through this adversity,” Eberflus said. “One of them is that we have to finish and I thought the guys did a good job with that, sticking in there, playing one play at a time and finishing the game the way it’s supposed to be finished there.”

It all starts at quarterback with Justin Fields. Fields has now thrown four touchdown passes in consecutive games, which marked the first time since weeks 9 and 10 last season that he threw multiple touchdown passes in consecutive games. Further, he had never thrown four touchdown passes in an NFL game prior to the loss against the Denver Broncos. There was some criticism about Eberflus and the coaching staff trying to make Fields something he is not by forcing him to be in the pocket.

However, they have finally found a medium between teaching him to pass from the pocket and letting him escape from the pocket.

“You see him having more poise when he’s in the pocket and when we’re moving him out of the pocket,” Eberflus said. “I think he’s getting chemistry with the group and overall, you can see a great chemistry with (wide receiver) DJ (Moore), with (tight end) Cole (Kmet) and (receiver Darnell) Mooney and the rest of the guys that are catching for us.”

The Bears have also always been a running team. Running back Khalil Herbert had his largest yards per attempt in a game this season with 7.6. However, he was forced to exit the game due to injury. Chicago was also down rookie running back Roschon Johnson with a concussion and Travis Homer with a hamstring injury. They were the only active running backs for this game. However, fullback Khari Blasingame stepped in to keep the running game going. He had his first rushing attempt since November of 2021 and his 26 rushing yards was the most in a game in his five-year career.

Being able to maintain that running game and avoid being one-dimensional is something that Eberflus saw as key to the game.

“I think it starts with the run game, being able to really establish that and I think the guys are really doing a good job with that, the ability to run the ball because that sets up a lot of things and that’s what we want to do and then the passing game has been multiple,” Eberflus said. “We’ve been throwing in the pocket, in roll passes, in direction rolls, misdirection movement plays, using solid protection to throw the ball down the field, releasing everybody, throwing quicks, which we haven’t done. So, there’s been a lot of multiplicity to it and I think it’s hard to defend and the looks have been different.”

There has only been one team in NFL history that has started the season 0-4 and gone on to the playoffs, which was the Chargers in 1992. They won their next four games to allow them to have a 4-4 record half way through the season. Thus, if the Bears want to have any chance of still making the playoffs, they need to continue winning.

Their next game will be their second division matchup of the season, going against the Minnesota Vikings who currently only have one win.

“We take one game at a time and we’re going to stick to the process of how we do our business,” Eberflus said. “If we keep doing right, good things are going to happen and that’s what we’re going to do.”

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