Matt Eberflus made excellent use of the 11 days between a Thursday night game and a Monday night game. It’s starting to look like Eberflus is a rarity in that he’s a rookie head coach who understands his responsibilities as a veteran. His lack of head coaching experience was nowhere to be seen in the Bears 33-14 win over the Patriots.
This is what he is exceptional at: controlling what he can control. Among the things he has mastered well is preparation, planning and recognizing the potential and limitations of his team.
Here are my other postgame points:
• Peyton Manning wanted the Bruins to try to score another touchdown at the end of the game. Having Justin Fields to kneel, Eberflus made sportsmanship and respect the right priority.
• It was a really well thought out game plan by offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, and his play calling was on the money all night.
• The Bruins’ offense looked a bit like the Crows offense according to what they tried to do and what they accomplished. Based on some of the similarities in personnel, the Ravens provide a logical blueprint for the Bears.
• The Bruins’ best defense may have been their offense. Time of possession edge of almost 14 minutes? That is impressive. No Patriots player on offense made more than a cameo appearance.
• That was peak Justin Fields, at least so far. He went through his advances better than before and made logical decisions for the most part.
• Fields ran dynamically, as he has done several times this season. But he also ran responsibly, which he didn’t always do.
• The designed runs for Fields will become less effective as defenses plan for them – unless the Bears can become more varied and efficient in the passing game.
• Fields’ ball handling remains an issue. The box score says he had four fumbles against the Patriots, and his 11 fumbles are tied for the league lead. Not much was made of it as the Bruins recovered ten of those fumbles. That is luckier than can be explained. His 2021 draft classmate Trevor Lawrence, for example, lost all four of his fumbles. If Fields keeps putting the ball on the ground, it will cost the Bears wins.
• Fields deserves credit for the win, but not at the expense of the big guys on both sides of the ball. The victory was due to them as much as anyone.
• Bears general manager Ryan Poles will take bows today for Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker. He should take another for Dante Pettisa player he signed in the third wave of free agency on a discount contract that contributed in various ways.
• The Bears’ three interceptions were byproducts of pass rushing, points scored and run defense.
• Roquan Smith doesn’t have an agent, but if he did, the agent would undoubtedly bring up the linebacker’s performance on Monday (12 tackles, a sack and an interception) when negotiating Smith’s upcoming contract.
• If the Bruins thought Patriots pass rusher Matthew Judon was hard to block (he sure was), wait until they get plenty of Micah Parsonswho they will face on Sunday in Dallas.
• With the NFL trade deadline a week away, Poles should approach the Bruins’ win with sobriety. Becoming a buyer would be wrong if the Bruins couldn’t land a player long term. Standing tap is usually the best way.
• It was a game to enjoy and remember, easily the Bears’ best win of the season so far. But in the end, one should read no further than the Bruins’ worst loss of the season so far in Green Bay. Both games have equal weight in the rankings.
(Photo: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)