Eberflus on facing Packers, Fields’ future with Bears
David Reginek - USA Today Sports

Eberflus on facing Packers, Fields’ future with Bears

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - While the Chicago Bears may not be in playoff contention, head coach Matt Eberflus still wants to carry the team’s momentum into next season with a victory against their rival, the Green Bay Packers, this coming Sunday (3:25 p.m./FOX).

In the last seven games, Chicago has won five of them, showing a drastic increase in performance and execution from the beginning of the season. Their most recent victory against the Atlanta Falcons was yet another example of their improvements on both sides of the ball.

However, the defense has been a bit more consistent in their performance while the offense arguably had their best performance playing Atlanta.

“Good complementary football (throughout) the whole group. I really believe that our guys are coming together at the end here, which is really cool to see,” Eberflus said. “We’re playing our best football in December leading into January, which I think is important for our future and the guys continue to have their eyes forward and being locked in for this particular week.”

The key for Chicago has been the performance of wide receiver DJ Moore. With his 159-yard performance against the Falcons, Moore now has 1,300 yards on the season, a career-high for him and the fifth-highest out of any Bears player in single-season history; he is also only one yard off of Jeff Graham’s 1995 total to move into fourth-highest in a single season for the franchise.

Against Atlanta, Moore was moved to the slot and he proved to be just as dangerous as he has been all season.

“He really can operate anywhere. He’s just that kind of a guy,” Eberflus said. “What I recognized when watching the tape is how strong he is, his contact balance, which is unbelievable and what you recognize from that tape is his ability to track the football. I mean, you see some of those catches over the shoulder, it’s just pretty amazing how he can track that football, especially in snow.”

What is more of a question going into next season is who will be throwing to him. Quarterback Justin Fields has been the leader of this offense for three seasons now and as far as victories, this season has been by far his most successful.

Nonetheless, Eberflus still denied to offer an answer as to whether he is the quarterback of the future in Chicago, which is now more important given the Bears have secured the No. 1 overall pick in the draft for the second straight season, this time from the Carolina Panthers.

“We’re just going to look at his performances right now and we’ll talk about all those big-picture questions after the season with (general manager) Ryan (Poles) and myself and we’ll see where it goes from there. But, we love where his progress is. He’s been more consistent,” Eberflus said. “We like what he’s done the last six games in terms of the turnovers, sacks, touchdowns, taking care of the football, throwing the ball down the field. So, those are all positive things and again, we’ll assess that as we get going here in the near future.”

Even though the Bears are not in playoff contention, this game against Green Bay has severe implications. First, Chicago has not defeated the Packers since December of 2018 when the Bears won the division. That was back when Matt Nagy was the head coach and Mitch Trubisky was the quarterback, meaning the current leaders of the team have not defeated Chicago’s biggest rival yet in their tenure. A victory against Green Bay could give Fields a better case for staying in Chicago.

For the Packers, if they beat the Bears, they are guaranteed a playoff spot. However, if Chicago wins, they will most likely not make the playoffs. Therefore, there is a lot on the line for them.

Despite that, Eberflus is not talking to the team as if they are spoiling things for the Packers; instead, he is keeping the focus on his team.

“It’s about finishing and it’s going to be about us,” Eberflus said. “It’s about us, the Chicago Bears going up to play our rival in the last week of the season and to me, that’s what it’s about and our guys are excited about it and we’re up for the challenge and it’s going to be a good week. It’s going to come down to execution and our guys are super pumped about it.”

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