Eberflus Wants Answers, Tough Love Time For Velus, Another Type of Tank Win, and Other Bears Bullets

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Eberflus Wants Answers, Tough Love Time For Velus, Another Type of Tank Win, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

By virtue of their 17.18-point performance on Monday Night Football, the Packers D/ST led my fantasy team to victory in the quarterfinals. And to think, I was certain at one point that a Green Bay postseason collapse was on the horizon for yours truly.

  • You could’ve swapped Bears for Blackhawks in this headline and it would’ve fit:
  • The Bears tank job is chugging along as well as we could hope. They’re 3-11, sit with the second pick with a game lead in the reverse standings, and are a virtual lock for a top-5 pick (94.9% chance based on Football Outsiders’ data). But that doesn’t mean we aren’t looking for some individuals to do well down the stretch. Maybe I’m being a little overzealous, but I’m in one of those moods where I want to have my cake and eat it, too. Give me a “tank win” and some performances that give me hope for the future.
  • So … who do we want to see shine for the Bears in these final three games? Besides the obvious (Justin Fields), it would be nice to see the left tackle Braxton Jones finish on a high note. This isn’t to say he should be locked into the left tackle spot to start next year, but it would be nice for him to use these next three games to play well enough to make a case for his return. Or maybe it’s a late-season rebound by Alex Leatherwood. Having Equanimeous St. Brown, Byron Pringle, Dante Pettis, and N’Keal Harry at receiver seems superfluous. Seeing one of those receivers emerge as someone worth retaining for next year would be a welcome sight.
  • On the other side of the ball, it would be wonderful to see cornerback Kyler Gordon and safety Jaquan Brisker continue on their (mostly) positive paths. But those are obvious choices. A non-obvious option would be seeing further growth from defensive end Dominique Robinson. Or a late-season surge from his running mate Trevis Gipson. More than anything, I want to see the Bears finish this year healthy. The end.
  • Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus told WBBM Newsradio that the team is reaching out to the NFL regarding Ndamukong Suh’s slap of Fields’ helmet at the end of a play in Sunday’s game against the Eagles. The play didn’t draw a penalty, but it was just the latest of late hits that opposing defenders have gotten away with delivering to Fields this year. At some point, I wonder if Eberflus gets tired of sending these out every week. Because I know I would.
  • As for the six sacks and six quarterback hits Fields took, Pro Football Focus found QB1 to be blameless across the board:
  • This isn’t to say Fields couldn’t have done things differently on his end. But it is a reminder that quarterback sacks are a stat that often requires context and a fuller evaluation beyond seeing a number in a box score.
  • The gift and curse of having rookies in two tweets. We’ll get this not-so-savory play out of the way:
  • Touchdown runs don’t get any easier than that one for Hurts. The rookie mistake by safety Jaquan Brisker attacking the wrong gap opens up a hole you could drive a motorcade through.
  • On the other end of the rookie spectrum, linebacker Jack Sanborn keeps me wondering why he wasn’t chosen in the 2022 NFL Draft:
  • Ahem! Speaking of rookie mistakes:
  • Finding the balance between tough love and positive reinforcement figures to be tough for Eberflus. But it sure sounds like Velus Jones Jr.’s latest gaffe will be a costly one. At least in terms of losing playing time down the stretch. On the one hand, that stinks. This is a lost year in terms of the standings. And the Bears should be using any and all possible snaps to try to find fits for players who will be under contract next year. But on the other hand, how does a player who has three costly fumbles that were key moments in losses continue to get opportunities? Especially at the expense of others who haven’t had those issues?
  • A light and fun read from Greg Braggs Jr. (CHGO) who introduces us to the Bears fan who has attended 400 consecutive games.
  • More fun:
  • Look, I’m just saying that it shouldn’t take much to find an old “LONG 75” jersey for Kyle if he doesn’t have any Saturday plans. And if he doesn’t, then let him fulfill this dream:
  • Over at FiveThirtyEight, everyone is still trying to process a wild Week 15. I’m not. Mostly because last weekend was a reminder of why we watch the NFL in the first place. There is no better reality TV than what the National Football League gives us every week. You can’t predict anything. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, something you’ve never seen before crosses your timeline. It’s why we tune in, even when we say we’re tuning out.
  • I really hope Will Anderson Jr. makes it through that Alabama bowl game healthy. And if he does, I’m certain NFL talent evaluators will circle this moment to declare him as a football-loving guy. That’ll definitely check some boxes ahead of NFL Draft weekend:
  • Will trade winds be blowing soon?
  • An offseason trade or a trip to Iowa are the first two options that come to mind here:
  • People helping people. Stop by if you’re in the area:

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.