The Matt Eberflus/Ryan Poles era got off to a great start on Sunday as the Chicago Bears beat the San Francisco 49ers in front of 62,159 rain-soaked fans.
While it wasn’t perfect — Justin Fields was just 8-for-17 for 121 yards and the Bears had just 204 total yards of offense — it was a win nonetheless.
And it was a win that doesn’t happen a year ago.
This Chicago win was all because of Eberflus and the incredible culture he’s built in just one off-season.
That culture is what should have Bears fans excited — specifically two examples of the improved culture that we saw on Sunday.
The first example came during the game when Chicago’s offensive line was quick to defend quarterback Justin Fields.
Bears O-linemen showing off "HITS" without actually hitting after the play by running to Justin Fields' defense.— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) September 11, 2022
49ers: 8 penalties for 75 yards
When you have offensive linemen going to battle for their quarterback, you know the culture is in the right place. And that’s something that has to be organic, it can’t be forced. It’s entirely because of the environment that Eberflus has created.
The other example of the Bears’ improved culture came after the game when Fields handed out two game balls. One went to Eberflus and the other one went to Poles.
When Eberflus was hired earlier this year to replace Matt Nagy, there were some questions about whether or not his philosophies — which some have described as “corny” — would be accepted by the Chicago locker room.
After week one, I’d say there’s no doubt that the Bears’ players have completely bought into Eberflus and his approach. It showed on the field via their relentlessness and it showed after the game with the game ball presentation.
The win was undoubtedly nice. But it’s the way this team has bought in that should really get Chicago fans excited.
Featured image via Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports