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The Matt Eberflus era got off to a memorable start with the Bears shaking off a bad first half to dominate the San Francisco 49ers in the second en route to a 19-10 win.
It wasn’t the prettiest win — far from it — but each unit had something to proud of. Here’s how each grouping graded out …
Quarterback — B
Justin Fields’ numbers were less than stellar: 8-for-17 for 121 yards, two touchdowns and one really bad throwing into quadruple coverage interception. (Side note: Nice job by Dante Pettis tackling Talanoa Hufanga immediately demonstrating the H.I.T.S principle.)
But Fields grade gets a huge boost for staying calm and getting better as the game went along. Fields took what was given to him but made something out of nothing finding Dante Pettis for the we-can-finally-breathe-the-Bears-found-the-endzone touchdown. Fields performance in the second half earned him the postgame slip-and-slide highlight.
Wide Receivers /Tight End — C
Darnell Mooney was triple-teamed to no one’s surprise, but one catch was still slightly disappointing … Cole Kmet was targeted once and did not have a catch. Not great A running back — David Montgomery — led the Bears in catches with thre which will likely not be the last time that happens this year … However, Pettis found the end zone and so did a wide-open Equanimeous St. Brown on a well-designed Luke Getsy play call. Pettis looked like he did what he was coached to do on a scramble which was something the Bears talked about they had worked on. We have now seen it in action. Nowhere to go but up for this group and they get some benefit of the doubt from the weather and coming up big when needed.
Running Back — C
If you told me before the game that David Montgomery would run 17 times for 26 measly yards I would have thought the 49ers won going away. Montgomery helped out with 24 receiving yards and Khalil Herbert showed his knack for finding open spaces picking up 45 yards on 9 carries plus the game-sealing touchdown. The backs get some credit as well for Fields getting sacked only two times. But if the Bears are going to build on 1-0 more needs to come from the backfield.
Defensive line/ Linebackers: A-
If falling in love with Dominique Robinson is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. Take a bow Ryan Poles, your fifth round pick (number 174 overall) just picked up 1.5 sacks and 7 tackles and could have had a couple more. The one-handed takedown of Trey Lance had me thinking of my childhood and Richard Dent. Roquan Smith drove Lance into the ground, Al-Quadin Muhammed flashed late and I noticed new addition Armon Watts a couple of times as well. It was a somewhat quiet day for Robert Quinn but he looked sweet with the rain coming down all over him late in the fourth quarter. The grade would have been an A, but there were multiple times Lance could have gone done sooner in the backfield but somehow he was able to pick up yards.
Secondary — A
Jaylon Johnson peanut punched Deebo Samuel with Jaquan Brisker recovering ending San Francisco’s first drive and establishing the Bears defense is going to be different this year, damnit. Samuel had only two receptions, his lowest total in seven games. Eddie Jackson bated Trey Lance into a key late interception. Kyler Gordon did get caught watching Lance as Jauan Jennings ran by him for a 44-yard too easy completion that led to a field goal. But overall, Lance did not find the end zone through the air and the secondary was key in helping the Bears defense bend but not break.
Special Teams — D
Cairo Santos two missed extra points were disappointing and bizarre. Santos gets a pass due to the weather but don’t let it happen again . Santos and Trenton Gill were also involved in a bizarre moment when after they used a beach towel to try and dry Soldier Field enough for Santos to kick a field goal. They instead drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty ending up with Bears out of field goal range and Gill punting. Good effort, bad rule, and that cannot happen. It was the one time all day Flus did not have his Bears on top of their collective games.
Coaching — A
Forget the beach towel Gill moment, Matt Eberflus is turning into a consistent breath of fresh air. The Bears made adjustments at halftime that got the offense going for three second half touchdown drives. The Bears and Flus did not flinch down 10-0 in the third quarter. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy flashed with a wide-open St. Brown. Flus had a different, more serious, regular season “look” to him. From the pregame tunnel to the national anthem to the driving rainstorm in the 4th quarter Flus did not flinch. Bears fans can rest easy knowing the hands of Matt Nagy are in Kansas City and a coaching veteran who was deserving of an opportunity has the reigns.
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