The Bears have a new coach. He comes from a background of skill and experience. With a little added familiarity, Matt Eberflus will take the Chicago Bears in a new direction. What they lacked under the tutelage of Matt Nagy, they gain with Coach Flus.
Why then do people like Louis Riddick cast out the Bears already? It's June, things aren't supposed to be perfect now. Is it the fact that both the Bears' GM and head coach are first-timers? Or can it be the sixth head coach in the last two decades feeling all-too-familiar?
How Matt Eberflus Automatically Changed The Bears In A Way Nagy Could Not
In a recent episode of BearsOnTap, host Brandon Suarez made a really interesting remark about Matt Eberflus. In response to cohost, Joey Ricotta's comments about not knowing how the Bears will fare in 2022 in comparison to the previous regime, Suarez mentioned the fourth quarter.
Check Out The Full Clip Below:
The Chicago Bears lose in the fourth quarter. In 2021, they ranked 26th in the NFL in points during the fourth quarter. During Matt Nagy's final year as head coach, the Bears' opponents outscored Chicago 131-90 in the fourth quarter alone.
To be fair, many of the Chicago Bears' losses came with garbage time. Take the week 7 embarrassment to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for example. The Bucs scored 35 points before halftime. It wasn't even a contest.
In the week 1 loss to the Rams, the Bears were down 27-14 going into the fourth. The Rams didn't need the extra touchdown because the Bears just couldn't score.
Where Eberflus Fits In
If you look closely at the fourth quarter over the last two seasons, the difference between the Bears and the Colts is very small. The Colts' opponents outscored them 216-214 in the fourth while Matt Eberflus was their defensive coordinator. But the Bears actually outscored their opponents 221-218.
The difference between the two is the storylines within the games. The Bears were blown out in the first half more than the Colts were. When they're losing 41-10 heading into the fourth quarter against the Packers in 2020, the 15-0 fourth quarter doesn't favor the Bears as the numbers might suggest.
Matt Eberflus changes the dynamic of the team. We don't know how good or bad the Chicago Bears will be in 2022. But the likelihood of being down by that many points so quickly is lower with Eberflus' new defensive scheme.
Considering the Bears' schedule is easier than some might like to say, they don't have to be the joke of the league when it comes to closing out football games.