Three Takeaways from Bears win over 49ers
|Monday, September 12, 2022, 11:00 AM- -|
It feels so nice to have football back in the Windy City. It is even nicer to have a Chicago Bears team start the season 1-0 as they opened up their 2022 regular season with a comeback win against the 49ers.
Those were the kinds of wins that have lacked in the past few seasons as Matt Eberflus did a fantastic job of making in-game adjustments which propelled the Bears to a victory. He is now 4-0 as a coach if you include the preseason, but more importantly, 1-0 in the regular season.
This was one of those classic tales of two halves games where the Bears were awful in the first half and looked completely different in the second half. Maybe the rain had something to do with it, as it took a while for both teams to figure out how to endure those conditions.
Regardless, this team found a way to win a football game, which is all you can ask.
Here are some takeaways from the game:
Bears Defense looked great
For all the struggles this team has had the past few years, with the offense taking the blame, you had to look at the Defense also. Once the best defensive unit in football, the Bears have gone backward since and were one of the worst defensive units in the league last season, especially against the pass.
Well, one game into the 2022 regular season, you can see a new-look defense that is hungrier than ever to get back to playing at the level they know they are capable of. Sunday was a great sign in getting to that level as the Bears forced multiple turnovers. That is when this team was at its best, as their Defense was known as a turnover machine.
Should they find a way to get back to that more consistently, you could be looking at one of the better defenses in the NFL again this season. That alone goes a long way and could make this team one of the more surprising teams in the NFL this season.
Never give up on Justin Fields
Now, with what they hope to be their franchise QB for the next decade-plus, Chicago is looking to build their offense around Fields. However, if the first half indicated how things would go, it was more of the same, as he looked mediocre during the first half.
However, sometimes it takes one play to awaken a player, and that play came in the second half of yesterday's game. After nearly throwing an interception on a sideline pass, Fields found himself running for his life on the next play, only to fire the ball across the field to a wide-open Dante Pettis. Pettis took care of the rest and raced in for the 51-yard score, which got the Bears on the board and seemed to awaken that offense.
That is something that people need to learn about Fields. He is still a young QB who sometimes makes mistakes. However, his ability to use his athleticism to extend plays and turn something out of nothing separates him from many QBs.
The Bears need to realize that he needs to be on the move just as much as he needs to stand in the pocket. The more Fields keeps a defense guessing, the better he will be, and it could be the key to unlocking his full potential as a starter.
A head coach who makes adjustments
Lost in the shuffle of how the Bears played in the second half was Eberflus coming away with a win in his first game. That hasn't happened a ton in Chicago recently, so it was nice to see a new regime come in and give the fans something to cheer about.
What stands out the most to me is what has fans excited, and that is how Eberflus adjusted during the game. Once the second half started, Eberflus identified what was not working for his team and made sure to change some things up. They looked like a different team over those final 30 minutes, and the adjustments he made seemed to pay off in the end.
Having a coach make in-game adjustments is refreshing, but having those adjustments work out in the Bears favor was amazing. Matt Nagy never did that, and if he tried to make adjustments, it worked for one or two series before returning to the struggles. With the Packers on the horizon next week, Eberflus has a chance to make a statement early.