For Bears safety Tashaun Gipson Sr., reviewing tape of Sunday night's 34-14 season-opening loss to the Rams on Tuesday was just as unpleasant as the game itself.
"We watched the film today and obviously corrections were made," Gipson said. "Today was the hard day. You've got to go up there and see your mistakes on tape in front of everybody. You learn from it and you get better. Guys are going to be challenged this week to step up to the plate and do what we need to do to get this thing right."
The Bears struggled on defense, especially in the secondary, allowing Matthew Stafford to throw for 321 yards and three touchdowns in his Rams debut while posting a 156.1 passer rating—the highest in his 13 NFL seasons.
Key miscues by Bears defensive backs enabled Stafford to complete TD passes of 67 yards to receiver Van Jefferson and 56 yards to receiver Cooper Kupp.
On the Rams' third play from scrimmage, Jefferson caught a long pass and tumbled to the ground at about the Bears' 10. Both Gipson and fellow safety Eddie Jackson had a chance to touch Jefferson down, but neither did. He jumped to his feet and raced into the end zone.
Asked Tuesday what he was thinking when the Rams receiver was on the ground, Gipson said: "I can't tell you, honestly. It's one of those plays where, in my 10-year career, I don't think I've been a part of. If you play that play between me and Eddie, 10 times out of 10 one of us would tag him down. [There's] too much football IQ between the two of us to let a play like that happen. It's just one of those things that will keep you up at night."
“I take ownership in my hand in the things that happened on Sunday, and we vow to never let that happen again.” Bears safety Tashaun Gipson Sr.
The TD came immediately after the Bears had reached the Rams' 3 but failed to produce any points due to an interception in the end zone.
"You can deal with a lot of things, but [if] we touch him down, you never know how that changes the momentum," Gipson said. "Just like a turnover in the red zone changed the momentum for them, who knows what that could have done for us.
"That's tough, something as simple as touching a guy down. They teach you that in little league. It's just a play that can't happen, shouldn't happen and won't happen again as long as I'm employed by the National Football League, and I'm sure Eddie feels the same way."
Early in the second half, after the Bears had cut the deficit to 20-14, a blown coverage enabled a wide open Kupp to haul in a long touchdown pass.
"It was a brain fart [by] the secondary, myself included," Gipson said. "I take ownership on that play. We've all got to be on the same page; myself, all of us.
"We've just got to do better. It wasn't nothing that they did. It wasn't that their players were just better than us and making contested catches. You can live with those. The blown coverages, we just didn't give ourselves a chance, and that's the most disappointing part about it … A high school player could've ran scot-free open and caught passes like that. I take ownership in my hand in the things that happened on Sunday, and we vow to never let that happen again.
"It wasn't nothing that they did. It was solely on us. It wasn't a game plan, it wasn't a scheme, it wasn't route concepts. It was truly 100 percent on us, and plays like that were the tale of the tape in the game. It was just frustrating."
The good news, Gipson believes, is that the errors are fixable and the Bears still have 16 of their 17 regular-season games ahead of them.
"We're very much disappointed in the outcome," Gipson said. "That's definitely not what we wanted to do. National TV or not, playing in front of 100,000 or 5,000, that just was unacceptable. But it's correctable things. These are mistakes that we did to ourselves, so you can live with that. It's not technique errors. It's not the physical part of the game where you say, 'Hey, man, we were just outmatched.'
"These are mental errors that are easily correctable. Obviously, if we can't correct them, then we shouldn't be out there. So, moving forward we've just got to tighten up and figure things out, but there's no need to panic. I'm not panicked one bit whatsoever. I think that we go back to the drawing board and fix it."