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Let’s try starting something new throughout this Bears season. Each week, about halfway through, I want to share my takeaways from the previous game, observations on the next opponent and highlight what was said from coach Matt Eberflus, quarterback Justin Fields and from the locker room.
We will call this Moreano’s Midweek Update for now, but I’m always up for suggestions.
To begin, let’s revisit the 27-10 loss to the Packers on Sunday Night Football one last time.
WEEK 2: BEARS VS. PACKERS
- Justin Fields did not have his best performance. There is no other way of putting it. Even though he threw the ball 11 times, there were opportunities to make plays. So it’s discouraging to see Fields play the way he did. Now, I don’t want this to come off as an excuse, but last Sunday night was just Fields’ second regular season game in Luke Getsy’s offense. Yes, he needs to capitalize on the makeable throws – as does every quarterback. But even Aaron Rodgers missed some layups in that game. It happens. And to expect perfection out of a second-year quarterback with limited opportunities is unrealistic. However, general manager Ryan Poles and Eberflus expect a big leap from Fields this season, so he needs to show he is capable of making that progress.
- You can look back in April and see how much I liked cornerback Kyler Gordon as a prospect. And after two games, I still feel the same way. But I wonder if playing two positions – outside and nickel corner – is impacting Gordon’s performance so far. It was clear what part of the offensive game plan was for the Packers: go after the rookie. Rodgers targeted Gordon 13 times throughout the game and 10 passes were completed for 163 yards and two touchdowns, according to Pro Football Focus. Yeah, not good. Maybe if Gordon was penciled into just one spot, he would be playing more frequently with the natural instincts and quickness he showcased at Washington. But we also have to remember that this was Gordon’s first road game and it happened to be against a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback. No reason to hit the panic button on Gordon or to say he isn’t capable of playing both positions in this defense.
- Since I really don’t want to go through more of the negatives from the game, like Roquan Smith, Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet, I want to wrap up this recap with something positive. Equanimeous St. Brown. His stat line won’t impress – two receptions for 39 yards, including a 30-yard catch and run on a Flea Flicker. But he proved on Sunday that he is an asset in the run game. The Bears finished with 180 total rushing yards and there were several plays where No. 19 made good blocks to help his fellow running backs.
Press Conferences and Locker Room
Justin Fields opened up during his Wednesday press conference, showing off a side of him that I know the media and fans appreciated. He addressed a comment he made in his Packers postgame press conference regarding Bears fans not “putting in any work.”
“Yeah, I was mad after the game. I’d like to address this now to get everything cleared up. There was a thing I said on Sunday after the game where I said the fans don’t put in work. … What I meant by that is I’m talking about work regarding the game on Sunday, winning the game. I don’t know any fans. I don’t know what they’re doing in their personal lives. I respect every fan that we have. I’m glad that we have fans. I would never disrespect anybody on what they do or what they love to do. It came off like that.”
I got a chance to speak to fullback Khari Blasingame in the locker room on Wednesday and asked him if he would like to be featured more in the offense.
I felt like those guys were running hard. D-Mo, Khalil. Great play calls and, you know, they worked out for us. That’s all I try to do, my job.”
Darnell Mooney also spoke to reporters on Wednesday and he was asked how he stays positive when he is not getting targets throughout a game.
Just continue to be me and just work. All I can do is just continue to stay on the jugs, run routes, keep my conditioning up. Worry about what I can worry about. Then the opportunities are going to come. Like I said they believe in me, the players believe in me, my team believes in me. There is eventually going to be a time that I do get a ball or what not, when I take it to the crib then everyone is going to go, ‘oh, there he goes.'”
Luke Getsy on Thursday was asked about the 11 pass attempts the Bears had against the Packers.
I know that it’s the NFL, everyone’s throwing it 30 or 40 times a game but we only had 42 snaps. And when you run the ball the way that we did, I think you have to make sure you’re running the ball, too. That’s part of it, and it’s our job each week as we evaluate the opponent – what gives us the best chance to succeed? Were our matchups favorable to us? Obviously, last week we felt like there were parts of the run game that we felt like we had a pretty good match up and we were able to get seven explosives. That’s a lot of explosives in the run game.”
Also, check out Mark Carman’s exclusive interviews with a few Bears players from Wednesday.
Bears vs. Texans
- If you haven’t already, make sure you check out this week’s preview show. Will DeWitt and I went in-depth with everything you need to know about this Week 3 matchup between the Bears and Texans.
- The Texans have a good running back in rookie Dameon Pierce. He runs hard and knows how to read his blocks. He finished with 15 rushing attempts for 69 yards (4.6 yards per carry) in the loss to the Broncos in Week 2. The Bears didn’t stop the run at all against the Packers, giving up 203 yards total last Sunday night. The Texans know the Bears have struggled to stop the run and are looking forward to this Week 3 matchup.
- Similar to the Bears, the Texans have their own rookie cornerback starting in the secondary. Houston selected Derek Stingley No. 3 overall out of LSU. And just like the Packers targeted Kyler Gordon, the Broncos did the same to Stingley. According to Pro Football Focus, Stingley was targeted 10 times and gave up six receptions for 87 yards and was also flagged twice for pass interference. Stingley was matched up with Courtland Sutton for a good amount in the game, and even though the Bears don’t have that kind of receiver, the game plan should involve testing the rookie corner.
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