Bears coach Matt Eberflus certainly believes in Occam’s razor.
Maybe I believe is not the right word. He lives it.
This is the theory that the simplest explanation is usually the best.
Asked if Sunday’s 49-29 loss at Dallas was a matter of needing more talent, he spat out his answer.
“I don’t believe that,” he said. “I think it comes down to the guys doing their jobs, the coaches getting them to do it the right way together and us playing the way we need to play.
“That is what I believe”.
Again, Eberflus is not without faith in certain intangibles.
He was asked by reporters after the loss if maybe the short work week after a big win on the road Monday night and the tumultuous emotional days of trading Robert Quinn were just getting to a young team. He had to admit there was something to that.
“When you ride the wave of momentum like that, it can be a tough thing for a young football team,” Eberfluss said.
Eberfluss certainly believes practice and routine will get them back on track, like against New England.
But that doesn’t help the points for Sunday’s game.
Here’s the Bears’ take on Sunday’s tough loss to the Big D.
Running game: A+
That’s pretty much a stamp every week now. A 240-yard game and only 60 came from running Fields, so the running backs and fellow wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. they were very active again. They find a way to run it no matter what, it seems. This had all the makings of a game when the current offense would shut down because they were starting Riley Reiff and Michael Schofield on the line. It didn’t matter. They ran anyway. It was their third straight 200-yard game and fourth of the season. They mirror the 2021 Philadelphia Eagles offense in Nick Sirianni’s first season. That team had 200 yards or more rushing five times. See what it is a year later.
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Passing Game: C+
This could have been an A, too, if not for a dropped Velus Jones attempt to reach for a beautiful deep ball from Justin Fields and an underthrow by Fields to open Equanimeous St. Brown early in the game. Four sacks isn’t good either, but considering the secondary on the offensive line and how Dallas led the league in sacks coming in, the line deserves some credit for Fields staying intact. Fields had another career best for passer rating at 120, but his yards per attempt fell in that one because he couldn’t connect on some of the deep throws. Fields had only 151 yards passing.
Run Defense: F
It all starts here. They got out of their gaps up front, got blocked and gave up 6.9 yards per carry, even though Prescott only ran it six times. They allowed Tony Pollard a career-high 131 yards. This was the kind of defense they showed early in the season. Every time they think they have their running problems figured out, something pops up. What’s happened is they get dissected through the air by veteran pass rushers and then when they make adjustments they leave their run defense exposed. It happened against Minnesota and it, and a few others to some extent. Roquan Smith had a torrid game, with five tackles, a season-low three and the fewest since he had three in a Thanksgiving game against Detroit last year.
Pass Defense: D-
Michael Gallup struggled to regain his footing after an injury last year, but facing the Bears helped as he had four catches for 49 yards. Kindle Vildor had enjoyed three straight rushing attempts, but the Cowboys exposed him and took advantage of Jaquan Brisker’s inexperience widely throughout the game. Darren Schultz found plenty of room to run routes and hurt them for a team-high six catches, a sign Brisker, Nick Morrow and Smith were having trouble covering. The pass rush only materialized when they fell. Eddie Jackson’s wiretapping backs this up from a total failure.
Special teams: C+
Neither team had a chance to do much in the kicking, return or coverage game as it was basically a wash. They held KaVontae Turpin in check with two punt returns for a 7.5-yard average, and also fumbled one on a downed punt inside the 10. Dante Pettis had one 9-yard return and neither team had a punt return. many chances to start. The Cowboys’ 83-yard drive was pretty spectacular, and Cairo Santos had his only field goal attempt.
Luke Getsy steps it up with a brilliant scheme to restart the ground game against a very quick defense and get the ball downfield in the passing game. It wasn’t as much Fields running this time around as it was against the Patriots, but he was still effective when he did. He has the defense’s eyes moving laterally all the time and beats them with the running game. On the other hand, Alan Williams has to enter games with veteran quarterbacks with more than he has so far. More cheating is required, more ways to pressure them early, be it lightning or stunts. They entered games with Aaron Rodgers, Dak Prescott and Kirk Cousins looking completely predictable and vulnerable. Against Carson Wentz, Patriots young QBs Trey Lance and Davis Mills looked terrible. Against Daniel Jones, they couldn’t figure out how to stop a bootleg.
Finally, since there is no GM category, we close by assigning some of the blame for this debacle to GM Ryan Poles and assistant GM Ian Cunningham. They traded Robert Quinn on a busy Wednesday at Halas Hall, leaving the next two days for the young players to absorb all the emotion of losing a teammate they like and figure out how to pick up the slack after losing his presence. Smith was completely overwhelmed by this in the middle of a press conference. They should have completed this trade on Tuesday or even Monday afternoon before the Patriots game, if not the week before. Eagles GM Howie Roseman could have made this trade at any time, as he was only giving up a fourth-rounder next spring. They need a better sense of time. In this case, he could have limited the emotional suffering or allowed more time to recover from it.
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