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Chicago Bears coaches explain what happened during key plays against the Vikings

Nicholas Moreano Avatar
October 19, 2023

LAKE FOREST — The Bears didn’t have a lot go right offensively in their 19-13 loss to the Vikings at Soldier Field in Week 6 last Sunday.

Justin Fields exited early after he injured his thumb on the Bears’ first offensive drive of the third quarter. Fields ended the game with 58 passing yards — the lowest in his NFL career since he became a full-time starter. One of his 10 pass attempts was also intercepted.

The offense finished with just 275 total yards, which was more than Minnesota, but the Bears’ offense looked overwhelmed by the Vikings’ pressure all game. As for the Bears’ defense, the unit only gave up one touchdown — a 10-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison.

Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and safeties coach Andre Curtis spoke to the media on Thursday at Halas Hall about some key plays throughout the game. Here is what they had to say.

Third-and-7 at MIN 38 with four minutes left in 2nd Q

The Bears started this drive with a deep completion in the middle of the field to Darnell Mooney for 39 yards.

On the next two offensive plays, the offense gained just three yards. A 1-yard run for Darrynton Evans and then a pass to Evans for two more yards on second down.

With the Bears down 6-3 and facing a third-and-7 from Minnesota’s 38-yard line, Getsy called a run for Evans. Many people questioned the call when it happened, but apparently it was the exact call Getsy wanted at the time.

“Is that the one we ran Darrynton for just about two yards? Yeah,” Getsy said. “That was our premier look. We had that as a check that we wanted to get to when they played in their Double-A defense. We had it when we wanted, we just didn’t finish those blocks. I think then guy reached out and tripped Darrynton on it. Like that one was close where we were really close to having about a 15-yard to 25-yard gain on that one. We had the exact thing we wanted, we were prepared for it. That was what we wanted there. We just didn’t do it there.”

Instead of the 15-25-yard gain that Getsy said could’ve happened, the Bears gained just three yards. Cairo Santos made a 53-yard field goal to tie the game at six.

Third-and-7 at MIN 48 with 10:43 left in 3rd Q

The first Bears’ offensive drive in the second half started with two runs for positive gains. D’Onta Foreman ran for a six-yard gain on first down. Then Fields scrambled to his left for an 11-yard gain.

On first-and-10, the Vikings brought six defenders, and Fields escaped the pocket and bailed to his right for a 3-yard gain. Then Evans was stopped for no gain on second-and-7.

The Vikings had eight defenders on the line of scrimmage presnap, and then dropped five and rushed only three. The Bears had Cole Kmet and Darrynton Evans help with protection on the play before running their routes.

D.J. Wonnum beat Larry Borom on a spin move and forced Fields out of the pocket. On the backside, Danielle Hunter chased down Fields and the Bears’ quarterback flipped the ball out of bounds as he was taken to the ground for a sack. This was Fields’ last play of the game.

It appeared DJ Moore may have been open in the middle of the field on that play. Here is what Getsy said about the coaching point on the play and whether there was an opportunity to hit Moore.

“Yeah, they dropped eight,” Getsy said. “And so, any time they dropped eight the point of emphasis was if your primary wasn’t open we’re extending the play. And so he was in that mindset, right? Darnell didn’t finish that play, if you recall. We had two people, had Ja’Tyre in, Darnell on Danielle there. And so we were extending the play. So we were trying to create basically what you’re saying. And so all of that part of it is when you’re on third down, when you’re in the gold zone and then people want to drop eight, you’ve got to extend some plays because the windows are going to be all foggy, right?

You have people dropping all over the place. But if you can extend the play now you create huge windows for yourself. So that was kind of the thought process.”

Second-and-3 at CHI 10 with :12 left in the 2nd Q

Bears coach Matt Eberflus made it difficult for the Vikings to find much success on offense. However, Minnesota was able to move the ball late in the second quarter. The Vikings went on an 8-play, 77-yard touchdown drive to take a 12-6 lead before the first half expired.

The Vikings took advantage of the Bears’ zone coverage and lack of pass rush and were able to find the end zone.

Curtis broke down what happened on the second-and-3 play from the Bears’ 10-yard line.

“There’s a lot of things that go into a situation like that, especially rush and coverage,” Curtis said. “It’s always a combination of the two. There were three players on that side who were kind of responsible for that as well as the D-line. TJ, Tyrique, Jaquan, they could all play things a little bit better. Could rush a little bit better, just being on the same page and just preparing the guys to be as good as they can in all those situations.”

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