The Chicago Bears never found the right amount of traction defensively against the Green Bay Packers. Lapses in coverage, bad run fits, and poor execution while pursuing the football stood out some of the few main culprits. However, probably the most detrimental one was the lack of clean tackling.
The Bears missed 17 total tackles against the Packers, many of which led to big plays for the Packers’ physical offense.
These big plays put the Bears in bad spots defensively and gave the Packers plenty opportunities to consistently move the chains on second and third down. Which in part, led to subsequent scoring drives and pressure on a Bears offense that already had plenty more questions than answers.
If you’re trying to pull off an upset and give your rebuilding franchise a victory for the ages, then engaging in poor fundamental play like tackling will definitely leave you short of your goal.
Especially against a team like the Packers, whose backfield — one that made life difficult for the Bears on Sunday night — consists of two running backs that can and will make you pay for failing to bring them down.
There isn’t a groundbreaking formula that can be used to suddenly correct poor tackling performances. The problem is usually sorted out by extra work on the practice field, where coaching and the actual effect of it comes into play.
Most of that work is done behind closed doors, where media and fans aren’t given the opportunity to put their own eyes on the work being done.
But head coach Matt Eberflus assures everyone, that the work done behind the scenes generally overturn the effects of a previous poor tackling performance. Not only for the following week, but for the future where more important games have yet to be played.
“I think it can turn around pretty quick,” Eberflus told reporters after the game. “It’s really about the fundamentals, but more importantly it’s about determination.”
Determination makes up a good part of the winning formula when it comes to a good, collective tackling effort.
Sure, the practice of taking good angles and using your arms instead of aiming for high impact collisions also make up a sizable portion of the equation. But finding your inner will to take down whatever ball carrier is in front of you garners a lot of attention as well.
At first glance, the Bears had that determination on Sunday night.
They were active, they flew to the ball, and were in good spots to make good plays tackling wise for the most part.
The only detail that never made an appearance, was the clean fundamental aspect that’s needed to finish the process. If you don’t have that, you’re going to miss a lot of tackles like the Bears did on Sunday night, and doing so will put you in a bad spot in terms of keeping the damage minimal from opposing offenses.
“It’s about the front seven really committing to it [effective tackling],” Eberflus explained. “It’s about them [defensive line, linebackers, and the secondary] committing to not giving up the big play.”
Eberflus is a good coach and his methods have shown some worth in the past.
Therefore, any worry about whether the Bears will replicate their poor tackling performance should be stashed away until it’s potentially necessary.
Featured image via Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports