Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus spoke with reporters Monday at Halas Hall to reflect on his team’s 31-26 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Ford Field.
Here are four things we heard during this session.
1. Matt Eberflus said coaches are reexamining their responsibilities for the fourth-quarter collapse.
The Lions scored 17 unanswered points to end the game, and Eberflus was asked several questions about the coaches’ role in the outcome.
He said that, like players, coaches take responsibility for their missteps. But he declined to provide specific examples, citing a desire not to reveal too much to future opponents.
“You always look and say, ‘Should I have called that?’ Should I have called that? Should I be more aggressive here? Less aggressive there?’” Eberflus told reporters. “If you’re an offensive or defensive coordinator, you always look and say, ‘Hey, what would I do best here and how could I grow right now?’”
However, Eberflus didn’t seem to question some of the Bears’ key decisions. Asked about three straight plays that gained 5 yards late in the fourth quarter, he replied: “We like those plays we had there. »
After those plays, the Bears settled for a 39-yard Cairo Santos field goal and a 26-14 lead with 4 minutes, 15 seconds left.
Eberflus said the Bears also liked their decision to kick field goals rather than go for it on both that play and a fourth-and-1 play earlier in the fourth quarter. The previous decision was made after Justin Fields was stopped for no gain on third-and-1. Santos made a 40-yarder and the Bears went up by nine points.
The collapse against the Lions was not the biggest of the season for the Bears. They allowed the Denver Broncos to come back from 21 points behind in the second half to win in Week 4.
And while Eberflus said the Bears showed they could finish games with wins over the Washington Commanders, Las Vegas Raiders and Carolina Panthers, Sunday’s loss called into question their ability to do so. do against better teams.
“Obviously the last two series, offensively and defensively, we have to do a better job of finishing,” Eberflus said. “We showed that to the guys in unit meetings and took responsibility as players and coaches. It’s a big part of the learning process.
“We just have to do a good job of focusing on that, on individual improvement, on unit improvement and on finishing these games the right way.”
2. Left tackle Braxton Jones said he was taken off the field due to dizziness.
Jones was visibly upset when NFL concussion observers removed him from the game with the Bears trailing by one point late in the third quarter.
Jones walked off the field and was evaluated for a concussion before quickly being cleared to return. While he was shown on the show screaming, “I couldn’t (expletive) see,” Jones said it was just a brief daze.
He said the frustration came from wanting to be there for his teammates.
“I had rolled and fallen and got up way too quickly,” he said. “I’m just a little dizzy.” I just needed a second. The referees pulled me out. I was evaluated.
“Honestly, I was doing great. I just think I was tired, I needed 10 seconds to pull myself together, but we didn’t have 10 seconds, obviously. The game clock was running down. I just had to go down and get assessed.
3. Dan Feeney has been practicing to be the backup center all week.
When Lucas Patrick was out with a back injury, it was Feeney who replaced center and not the Bears’ 117-game starter, Cody Whitehair. Feeney is a seven-year NFL veteran, but had only played three offensive snaps this season before Sunday.
The Bears put Whitehair, who played guard and center, with returning guard Nate Davis in the lineup.
“You can only prepare one center to back up, and Feeney was the guy to do it,” Eberflus said. “He obviously has experience at that position, and then Cody was going to fill in at the guard spots. We just thought it was the best continuity at the time.
Eberflus said the Bears were sending the hit Patrick was injured on — after the play was killed off — to the league for review.
“I spoke to the referee about it, we discussed it and we will leave it at that,” Eberflus said. “We’ll see what they say.”
4. Defensive end Montez Sweat’s playing time is the result of a rotation.
Sweat was on the field for 39 snaps, or 63 percent of the Bears’ defensive plays. Eberflus was asked if they would like Sweat, who signed a four-year, $98 million contract extension earlier this month, to be on the field more, especially in late-game practices.
“Of course we want him to be around more, but these guys rotate,” Eberflus said. “(Defensive line coach Travis Smith) rotates them. Usually there are five to seven listens – somewhere in there – during the two minute drive like that.
“You just put them in a platoon and bring them there fresh. And when those lead dogs are fresh, you put them back. You have to because these guys throw their fastball every time.