Why Bears' Matt Eberflus had no issue with play-calling in Packers loss

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Why Eberflus had no issue with Getsy's play-calling in Packers loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Bears let one get away Sunday against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. After jumping out to an early 16-3 lead, the Bears' offense stalled in the second half due to penalties, poor execution in critical situations, and some questionable play-calling by offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.

One sequence, in particular, stood out as a missed opportunity for the Bears in the 28-19 loss to Green Bay.

With the Bears clinging to a 19-17 lead early in the fourth quarter, quarterback Justin Fields was flushed from the pocket, rolled left, and hit N'Keal Harry for 49 yards down to the Green Bay 28-yard line.

Harry's leaping catch seemed to swing momentum back in the Bears' favor and put the Packers' defense on their heels. But the Bears couldn't fully cash in on Harry's grab.

On first-and-10, Fields threw a short pass to running back David Montgomery for a loss of 2. Montgomery picked up 7 yards on a second down run to bring up third-and-5. Getsy chose to go back to the run, but Montgomery was stopped after a gain of 1.

Cairo Santos' 40-yard field goal was tipped at the line and came up short.

Given the way Fields and the passing game were clicking Sunday, calling runs on second-and-12 and third-and-5 in a critical moment was a puzzling decision by Getsy.

But head coach Matt Eberflus didn't see a problem with Getsy's plan.

“I mean, you can always criticize play calls," Eberflus said Monday. "That’s part of the game, right? That’s part of the fun in the media and part of the fun of the fans. The way I see it, of course, is those were good play calls.

"If you look at the execution of the run on third down, if we kick out the three technique and run the trap the correct way, that thing is hitting on the safety. We just got to do a better job of that. Thought it was a good play call and good design.”

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Fields also didn't mind the offensive plan of attack at that moment. It comes down to all 11 being better as a unit to ensure that explosive play leads to six.

"We just got to execute better as an offense," Fields said Sunday after the loss. "Trust the O-line to call that run on third down. I don't think the running back hit the completely right track. Of course, he hit the right hole but I think he just has to hit that harder. As an offense, we just have to execute better."

Sunday marked the 10th time Fields and the offense had the ball with six minutes or less left with chance to drive to tie or win the game. When Jaire Alexander picked off Fields with 2:57 left to end the Bears' comeback hopes it was the ninth time they have been unsuccessful. Their only successful attempt was a four-play, 0-yard field goal drive to beat the Houston Texas in Week 3.

The Bears have lost six in a row and nine of 10. While that's improved their draft position, Fields and the rest of the young Bears would benefit from coming through in winning time before the season ends.

Fields is confident the breakthrough is near.

"The wins are going to start coming," Fields said. "I thought as an offense we got better today. I just can wait until they start coming."

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