Marc Trestman liked a lot of what he saw while watching tape of the Bears' thrilling comeback win over the 49ers. But there were also key areas the coach knows his team must improve.
Jay Cutler threw touchdown passes on four straight drives Sunday night, including three in the fourth quarter to turn a 20-7 deficit into a stunning 28-20 victory. But before the Bears seemingly switched their offense on, their first six possessions all resulted in punts.
Cutler was especially sharp after getting speared in the chest by defensive tackle Quinton Dial late in the first half—a hit that drew a 15-yard penalty. From that point on the Bears quarterback completed 15 of 16 passes for 138 yards and four touchdowns.
"The biggest thing was his composure throughout," Trestman said. "Six possessions and six punts, that never makes a quarterback or his offense feel very good. But the composure throughout and just the next-play mentality that they continued to have and focus on what they were trying to do …
"It was a very difficult first half. [The 49ers are a] very good defensive football team. They had a good plan for us. They mixed up their coverages, tightened them up a little bit. We just had to be resilient enough to persevere. I thought that was No. 1. And then certainly after taking the hit, the way he gathered himself and got himself refocused was certainly evident."
Trestman told reporters Tuesday that he was "very disappointed" with the slow start on offense and described the running game as "very poor" after Kyle Long was limited to 21 yards on 12 carries. A week earlier, Forte had rushed for 82 yards on 17 attempts in a loss to the Bills.
"We're going to throw that away and try to work off where we got started in the Buffalo game and try to continue to progress and get better there," Trestman said. "That's a very difficult defense to run against. But nonetheless the tape certainly showed us that we have some work to do and it got our guys' attention, which is a good thing."
Defensively, the Bears generated four takeaways and four sacks and held the high-powered 49ers to three points in the second half. The only touchdowns that San Francisco scored in the game came on drives that began at the Chicago 8 and 30.
"It all starts with tackling," Trestman said. "I thought our tackling was excellent overall against a very good running football team. Our guys ran to the ball and gang-tackled."
It was a vast improvement after the Bears defense permitted 193 yards rushing and generated little pressure on the quarterback a week earlier against the Bills.
"We're moving in the right direction," Trestman said. "I thought we certainly moved forward from the week before; more sure tackling, very good at the point [of attack], the fits were good, guys knew who had the back and who had the corner. That showed up on the tape."
After a promising start on special teams in the season opener versus Buffalo, the Bears struggled in that aspect of the game across the board against the 49ers.
"I thought in the first week we had a very good start to special teams," Trestman said. "It didn't work out that way this week. We made a number of mistakes. It started with the blocked punt. We lost contain at times. We had some double-team issues, some decision-making issues by a very young group.
"We've got to go back to work certainly and continue to teach and get a very young group of core players better, and we intend on doing that. We saw the light in the Buffalo game with things that we can do and do well and be competitive on a consistent basis and we've got a lot of work to do to get back to that point again."