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After Further Review

3 things that stood out to Eberflus in Week 1 loss

Bears coach Matt Eberflus
Bears coach Matt Eberflus

After watching tape of Sunday's season-opening loss to the Packers, Bears coach Matt Eberflus discussed three things that stood out to him in the game:

(1) Eberflus feels the offense needs to eliminate the mistakes that stalled drives.

The Bears found themselves in third-and-long situations all game, due mostly to three false starts and two holding penalties as well as four sacks of quarterback Justin Fields. They converted just 3 of 13 third-down chances (23.1%).

The Bears settled for two fields goals after two false starts on one possession and a sack that resulted in third-and-11 on the other. They also were forced to punt twice after failing to convert on third-and-20 after a holding penalty and third-and-18 following a sack. 

Fields completed 24 of 37 passes for 216 yards with one TD, one interception that was returned for a touchdown and a 78.2 passer rating. He also rushed for a game-high 59 yards on nine carries and lost a fumble on a scramble.

Asked to assess the quarterback's performance, Eberflus said: "He knows he can play better. He knows that. He's well aware of that and he's going to work diligently to do that. It's important that everybody looks that way: the offensive line, the receivers, the coaches, the defensive coaches, the defensive line, everybody. It's all hands on deck to improve, because we want to improve this season as we go. We want to be a stronger football team every single week. We have room for improvement, as you can see. So, we're excited about getting that done. It's a challenge for our guys to work on that."

Eberflus suggested that the Bears need to do a better job of blocking on receiver screens. 

"That has to improve," Eberflus said. "We all saw that, right? We've got to block the perimeter better. We've got to sustain our blocks. We've got to take better angles. That's part of what we need to improve, for sure."

(2) The aspect of the defense's performance that most disappointed Eberflus was allowing the Packers to convert 9 of 16 third-down opportunities (56.3%).

The Bears recorded just one sack—by recently acquired defensive end Yannick Ngakoue—and were credited with only three quarterback hits.

"It is about the rush, no question, but it's also about the coverage," Eberflus said. "It's us having precision and detail there to be able to get off the field on those third downs. For example, the first drive, we ended up having three of them, didn't get off the field. We have to do that at a better rate."

The Packers converted all three of their third-down plays on their first possession, including Jordan Love completions to Romeo Doubs for 13 yards on third-and-13 and for an 8-yard touchdown on third-and-goal.

(3) Eberflus conceded that the Bears must make a more concerted effort to get the ball to star receiver DJ Moore.

The prized offseason acquisition was targeted only twice in Sunday's game; he caught 11- and 14-yard passes from Fields on back-to-back plays on a second quarter drive that resulted in a field goal that drew the Bears to within 7-6.

"It's important for us to be able to get the ball to our best skill," Eberflus said. "We need to do that. We need to do that as an offense. We have to do a better job there. Were the plays designed for him to go there sometimes? Yep. And they had some different coverages rolled up to him at times and different things that they were doing, which some teams are going to do, but we certainly have to find ways to feed DJ and feed our skill."

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