Bears overreactions: Did Chicago miss on Eberflus, Poles?


The early shine of the Matt Eberflus era is already wearing off for the Bears.

A 20-12 loss to a less talented New York Giants team will do that. As will giving up 262 yards rushing to the dynamic tandem of Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones. Let's not forget the train wreck that has been the Bears' passing attack through four games.

The frustrating loss to the Giants had the mailbox full of reactions, both fair and not.

Let's put a bow on Week 4 by diving into the overreactions from the 20-12 loss to the Giants:

Overreaction? Yes, but I can be persuaded in three months.

A month ago, we were lauding general manager Ryan Poles for his ability to find talent in the draft without the benefit of a first-round pick. It looked like the Bears' first-time GM had found two long-term pieces of his secondary, a starting left tackle, and a dynamic slot receiver, in his first swing at the draft.

Four weeks have changed a lot.

Kyler Gordon has struggled mightily bouncing between outside corner and the slot. Gordon has given up 20 catches on 27 targets for 335 yards through four weeks, and Justin Jefferson is up next.

Rookie corners often struggle, but it has been hard to watch.

Safety Jaquan Brisker has been solid. He has missed some tackles and lost contain on a Daniel Jones bootleg in Week 4 that resulted in a touchdown. But overall, he has been solid.

Velus Jones made his NFL debut in Week 4, didn't record an offensive snap, and muffed a punt that cost the Bears a chance to tie the game.

Left tackle Braxton Jones has been below average. He has given up 11 pressures and four sacks in four games. The pass protection is a big part of the Bears' passing game struggles, and Jones, who was a fifth-round pick, has struggled.

It's not fair to say Poles can't draft.

Let's wait until we have a 17-game sample size to judge this class and see what Poles does with a first-round pick next April. But early returns have not been as encouraging as we thought.

Overreaction? Yes, but the jury is out.

Well, that only took four games.

To be fair to Eberflus, he isn't exactly coaching with a full deck. The Bears have holes all over their roster. But the run defense is very concerning, and the Bears' up-and-down tackling performances point to either a lack of buy-in to the H.I.T.S principle, poor coaching, or both.

The Bears haven't given up a touchdown in the second half this season. That's good. It shows that Eberflus and his defensive staff can adjust on the fly.

But some of Eberflus' decisions have been curious, and his apparent lack of trust in Justin Fields is an issue.

Eberflus' flaws look even greater after Brian Daboll, who many Bears fans wanted, coached circles around him and defensive coordinator Alan Williams on Sunday at the Meadowlands.

Did the Bears once again hire the wrong Ryan and Matt? The jury is still hearing arguments from both sides.

The Bears' win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 was evidence Eberflus knew what he was doing, and the players had bought into his principles. Losses to the Packers and Giants might show otherwise.

We'll monitor the situation and see how the team responds to Eberflus if the losses pile up.

Overreaction? No.

Getsy deserves some blame for the Bears' passing game issues. Every part of the operation does.

Can Getsy get more creative with his play calls? Sure.

Is he being too conservative? You could have made that case in each of the first three games. He wasn't against the Giants. Fields threw the ball 22 times, ran it seven, and was sacked six. That's 35, maybe 34 depending on how we count the scrambles, pass plays that were called Sunday. Given the state of the Bears' pass protection and how well they have run the ball, that's pretty damn aggressive.

A big issue Getsy is running into is that the Bears just don't have a lot of sustained drives. It's hard to crack open the playbook when the punt unit is coming out before you've flipped to the page with the "explosive plays." The Bears are only converting 34 percent of their third downs. That ranks 26th in the NFL. Not good.

Getsy can get better as a play-caller. No doubt. But If Fields doesn't start completing more than 51 percent of his passes, the offensive line doesn't give him more time, and the receivers don't create more separation, it's not really going to matter.

The bootlegs and naked concepts we saw in the preseason have been taken away by opposing defenses.

But Getsy needs to find a way to get Fields out of the danger area and make life easier on a young quarterback still trying to find his feet.

It's not time to throw Getsy overboard. And he doesn't deserve the largest chunk of the blame pie for the offensive struggles. But he can be better, and the Bears need him to be.

Overreaction? Yes

From a talent perspective, the Bears have won of the worst rosters in the NFL.

But the schedule presents them with many winnable games over the next three months.

The Washington Commanders are a dumpster fire, the Falcons just won a game completing seven passes, the Lions' defense has been getting gashed, and the Jets are the Jets. Let's not forget the Bears might face a Patriots team with rookie Bailey Zappe at quarterback.

There will be wins on the schedule, but I still think a 5-12 or 6-11 mark is where the Bears end up at best.

Overreaction? No

Kyler Gordon has the ability, athleticism, and high football IQ to play nickel at the NFL level. But he doesn't look like he's ready to be the player the Bears need in the slot at the moment.

There's nothing wrong with saying that.

That's not saying he's a bust or should go find a different career. I think Gordon has looked much more comfortable when playing outside corner. Think back to his pass breakup in the end zone against Allen Lazard in Week 2. Gordon plays it perfectly. He did the same on a PBU in Week 3. He has just looked better on the outside.

I'm a believer in Kyler Gordon. But I believe the Bears need to let him just play outside right now and make the nickel a Year 2 project.

Overreaction? Yes

One of my least favorite talking points is the "Player X went to College Y so he'll be good/bad in the NFL because of it."

Yes, Ohio State has produced a long line of horrible NFL quarterbacks. Can't argue that.

So had Alabama, and now the Crimson Tide have three starters in the NFL playing at high(ish) level.

If Fields doesn't make it in the NFL, it won't be because he transferred to Ohio State after sitting for a season at Georgia. It will be because he landed in the worst situation possible, and the Bears have done little to support his development.

RELATED: Fields shouldn't shoulder blame for bad offense

Fields is insanely talented. He has a special arm and rare athleticism. He could have played at Wisconsin-Whitewater or USC, the results would be the same given where Fields landed.

Overreaction? Brutal, but no.

If you look at the Bears' roster, I'm not sure you can find 10 players that absolutely are going to be part of the long-term Poles-Eberflus rebuild.

Here's what I came up with:
--Jaylon Johnson
 --Eddie Jackson
 --Kyler Gordon
 --Jaquan Brisker
 --Darnell Mooney
 --Roquan Smith (?)
 --Justin Fields (?)
 --Robert Quinn (?)

That's it.

Everyone else is a veteran placeholder or someone who still needs to prove their long-term worth. Trevis Gipson, Cole Kmet, and Khalil Herbert could enter the conversation. Fields, Smith, and Quinn could exit it.

As for the Poles, Eberflus, and the staff, we should reserve judgment. No one has done enough to prove they are above reproach or a quick hook if things go south. But four games is way to small a sample size to eject anyone.

Overreaction? Yes

If the Bears win 8 games, I'll eat a shoe.

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