Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
Why did the Bears decide to punt and not try a field goal from the Eagles 30 in the first half of Sunday's game?
There was a strong wind blowing out of the south (16 miles per hour at kickoff) and Cairo Santos informed coaches before the game that his range heading in that direction was from the 27. So when the Bears faced fourth-and-26 from the 30, they opted to punt, and Trenton Gill's punt was downed at the 9. Said coach Matt Eberflus: "[Santos'] kick line was 27 yards with the wind. When it was there at the , we were out of our kick line. We were going to take a delay, punt and pin. Did a pretty good job of punting and pinning. I believe Philadelphia did the same thing. They were at the 33 … That's the way the wind was out there. It was tough sledding out there in the kicking game." The situation with the Eagles that Eberflus referred to happened in the third quarter when they also passed up a field-goal attempt from the 33 heading in the same direction. On fourth-and-6, Jaylon Johnson broke up a Jalen Hurts pass intended for A.J. Brown, turning the ball over on downs.
What happened on the play where the Eagles quarterback ran up the middle for a 22-yard touchdown without any Bears player even close to him? Was there supposed to be a defender in the middle of the field?
Homer Glen, Illinois
The Bears called a zero-blitz on that play, meaning that there was no safety deep. What happened was that rookie safety Jaquan Brisker blitzed between the center and right guard when he was supposed to fill the gap between the center and the left guard. As a result, the Bears had two players in one gap and none in the other, which allowed Jalen Hurts to dash up the middle for an easy touchdown. Said coach Matt Eberflus: "We had two guys in the same gap. Safety is supposed to be in the other gap. We should have had that. That's unfortunate that that happened. I think [defensive coordinator] Alan [Williams] called a great pressure there in that situation."
Why did the Bears decide to try on onside kick with more than two minutes remaining in Sunday's game against the Eagles?
The main reason the Bears attempted an onside kick (that the Eagles recovered) with 2:43 left in Sunday's game was that they had only one timeout remaining. Said coach Matt Eberflus: "The numbers there tell us we were onside kick there all the way. We've got to kick a better kick there. I think it only went nine yards. Cairo [Santos] has been kicking that excellent in practice, that spinner kick. He's been doing great in that. We've got to execute there at that moment." The Bears actually had a chance to get the ball back with a little more than a minute to play, but Jalen Hurts sealed the win by completing a 12-yard pass to A.J. Brown on third-and-6 from the Bears' 40.