We are only four weeks into the season, and head coach Matt Eberflus is already doing damage control. Luke Getsy has also come to the defense of his offense, and particularly quarterback Justin Fields. The Bears are not a good team, nor were they expected to be any good, yet the team’s fan base is growing more impatient with each game. We were promised progress, but the organization has yet to deliver.
That’s if we are to truly believe what we are seeing. Apparently, the Bears are improving during practice each week. It’s important but allegedly less critical that the success has yet to translate to game days.
“[This league] is about scoring. [It’s] about scoring touchdowns and defensively we’re doing OK right now. But offensively, we need to improve that percentage. But again, the practices just have to translate. It’s been good red-zone practices. We’ve got good schemes down there. It just has to translate to the game now.”
Wins and losses don’t matter at this stage of the Bears’ rebuild and they shouldn’t. The offense and defense will get better, but most fans just want to see some progress by Fields. He seems to regress with each game. Getsy disagrees with that notion.
“I don’t think [Justin’s] had a rough month,” the offensive coordinator said earlier this week. “I think he’s gotten better each week [and]I think he’s growing tremendously. And you know, it’s not easy. We’re playing good football teams, and it’s not easy to become the level of quarterback that he wants to become, and I know that he can. The important thing is that we stay focused, keep our eyes on that progress or on that process and we make sure we get better each and every week and I believe that we’re in that phase.”
You can write that quote off as Getsy indirectly speaking to an audience of one, namely Fields. Nobody in their right mind can agree with that assessment. In fact, it seems almost delusional if you’ve watched the first four games. However, Fields did throw for more than 100 yards against the Giants, so I guess that does count as progress. He even hit Darnell Mooney four times for 94 yards. But, Chicago didn’t score a single touchdown and was 0-for-3 in the red zone.
If the Bears intend to beat the Vikings on Sunday, that has to change. Improved practices won’t sell very well to the average fan if Chicago keeps getting their asses handed to them. We’ll see what Getsy has planned for Minnesota.
Bears News & Notes
- Our own Sean Holland previewed tomorrow’s game, and his predicted outcome isn’t a very rosy one.
- The formula to beat the Vikings is pretty simple, though executing it has been difficult. The Eagles are the only team with a win against Minnesota so far.
- David Montgomery is listed as questionable (ankle) for Sunday’s game.
- Defensive coordinator Alan Williams wants the Bears to be more aggressive at getting after the quarterback.
- The Bears have given up a league-worst 183.3 rushing yards in their 2-2 start, so they’ll need to stop Dalvin Cook, too.
- Jaylon Johnson is expected to miss Sunday’s game, and that means the Bears will have a tougher time slowing Minnesota’s offense.
- Mooney has struggled with running the correct routes this season, and that’s left him out of synch with his quarterback.
- Eberflus and Getsy actually praised Fields for checking down properly on a play where he missed a wide-open Mooney for a potential touchdown.
- Chicago’s latest depth chart lists rookie Ja’Tyre Carter as Sunday’s starter at left guard. Sam Mustipher will back up center Lucas Patrick. There is no official word as of this writing.
- Velus Jones Jr. believes he is going to score a touchdown when he makes his first NFL reception.
- More and more NFL teams are going to the shotgun in goal-line QB power situations (a subscription to The Athletic is required to access content). Cris Collinsworth isn’t always right. Imagine that.
- The Bears dropped three spots and are now No. 30 in the latest power rankings by NFL.com.
- The ESPN Power Index gives Chicago a 3.6% chance of making the playoffs.
There’s a Flag…On the Play
After watching last week’s 20-12 loss, it’s entirely possible to believe Chicago’s Thursday night tilt against the Commanders on October 13 could be yet another field goal game, much to the disappointment of Al Michaels.
— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) October 7, 2022
- The Vikings signed former Bears defensive lineman Khyiris Tonga this week. Tonga joins Minnesota after spending recent time on the Falcons’ practice squad and could see some game action on Sunday.
- The two games against the Bears are ranked as the easiest on the Vikings’ remaining schedule. Minnesota will also play the Bears at Soldier Field during the final week of the season.
- The Vikings are 2-0 at home with wins coming over NFC North opponents Detroit and Green Bay.
- The Vikings will be attempting to become the first team in NFL history to win in Europe one week and then win back in the United States the next week.
- Head coach Kevin O’Connell finally opened up about the catastrophic injury that rookie safety Lewis Cine suffered in Week 2. Cine’s leg left snapped and the fracture actually broke through his skin.
- Wide receiver Adam Thielen has 50 career touchdown receptions, and his first score came against the Bears.
Teven Jenkins (76) has not allowed a sack or QB pressure in the past two games for the Chicago Bears, according to PFF. #OKState
— Cody Nagel (@CodyNagel247) October 5, 2022
- Green Bay – The Packers are in London to play the Giants Sunday morning, and recreated the Beatles’ 1969 Abbey Road scene.
- Minnesota – Wide receiver Justin Jefferson told O’Connell that he “doesn’t want to be a virus.” Jefferson struggled against double teams in Weeks 2 and 3 but bounced back for a big game against the Saints last Sunday.
- Detroit – The majority of Lions fans believe Jared Goff is the team’s quarterback of the future. That’s despite an earlier claim by Lamar Jackson that Detroit is one of the teams he’d consider in free agency.
NFL News & Notes
The NFLPA wants immediate action with regard to the league’s concussion protocol starting with this weekend’s games. The call for changes comes after questions were raised about Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, who was allowed to return to a game on September 25 and was injured once again four days later.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is “willing to make a change or two” to the rules.
On a separate topic, Goodell said he foresees a future where the NFL will have a four-team European division.
NFL parity has resulted in a lot of very bad football through four weeks.
Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust
- Russell Wilson has four touchdown passes this year. That’s his lowest through the first four weeks of a season since his rookie year in 2012.
- The NFL’s last three 12-9 games were decided in overtime.
- On Sunday, Bucs QB Tom Brady will try to avoid losing three straight games for the first time since 2002.
If the Bears game becomes too difficult to watch, there’s always the MLB playoffs. You can follow all the postseason action over at Cubs Insider.
From the Podium
- “We got Darnell Mooney going last week. Equanimeous St. Brown has done a good job to this point. We’ve just got to continue [with] the whole group, really just the rhythm and timing of the passing game. I think it’s improving. I see it in practice and we saw glimpses of it last week. It’s a work in progress, but it’s improving.” – Eberflus
- “We’ve got to take the completions when they’re there. I think [Justin] passed up a couple of cheap completions that get you into that second-and-3, second-and-4, which makes the gold zone a lot more easier to go score. We’ve got to improve upon that. We’ve got to get those little cheap completions, and then we’ve just got to execute in the run game better too.” – Getsy
- “You can’t let people run the ball down your throat. You just can’t” – Williams
Running Out the Clock
Don’t believe everything you see or hear.