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Bears HC Opens Up About Young Secondary Following Week 3 Victory

The Chicago Bears snuck out of Soldier Field with a win on Sunday thanks in no small part to their young secondary and defense.
Bears Kindle Vildor

The Chicago Bears snuck out of Soldier Field with a win on Sunday, beating the visiting Houston Texans 23-20. It was a game that saw the Bears rack up 281 rushing yards while winning the time-of-possession and turnover battles. And yet, they needed a late interception by Roquan Smith just to set them up for an opportunity to win.

A defense that allowed 237 passing yards, and 329 total, gave up just 40 yards total in the fourth quarter.

Bears’ Matt Eberflus Sounds Off On Kyler Gordon, Kindle Vildor

Kyler Gordon, Kindle Vildor Shine

The Bears came into this game down starting cornerback Jaylon Johnson and would see safety Eddie Jackson exit during the contest. Still, the Bears allowed the Texans to score just six points in the second half after giving up a touchdown in each of the first two quarters. And they got even stronger as the game wore on, a testament to their head coach.

Texans quarterback Davis Mills threw 19 passes for 144 yards in the second half.

Only 49 of those came in the fourth quarter despite Mills having just one fewer passing attempt than the previous quarter.

Third-year corner Kindle Vildor was in coverage on Jordan Akins’ touchdown and got beat for a few plays through the game. He said after the game that he knew the Texans could look to target him in the passing game.

He also said that the Bears “know we’re a fourth-quarter team.”

Vildor finished the game with five total tackles, three solo, and a career-high two passes defensed, one of which directly led to Jackson’s interception in the endzone. Eberflus talked about his young stepping up when it mattered most during his postgame media availability.

“I thought they performed decent. They did a nice job. And there’s certainly, I just talked to both of them in there, ‘Hey, everything’s a learning experience. And you can get better from every performance. We won the game today, we’re going to get better.”

Rookie Kyler Gordon has had an up-and-down start to his career. But he showed his athleticism and nose for the football making a play on a one-handed pass deflection that forced fourth down. Fellow rookie Jaylon Jones filled in for the injured Johnson and, as his coach said, played well.

Credit to the D-Line

It wasn’t just the Bears’ secondary that stepped up when needed. They also got big plays from Smith and fellow linebacker Nicholas Morrow. Smith finished with a team-high 10 total tackles and six solos along with what was essentially the game-winning interception. After the game, he noted his contract status and said he was “just trying to do what I need to do.”

Morrow had three tackles (one tackle for loss) including back-to-back stops on third downs to force punts on the Texans’ first two possessions of the fourth quarter before Smith’s pick.

The veteran noted he didn’t have the game he would have liked but was happy with the win.

He also gave plenty of credit to the Bears’ defensive front which ranked just 17th in Pass Rush Win Rate but is sixth in Run Stop Win Rate coming in saying everything starts with them. Texans running back Dameon Pierce tallied 40 of his 80 rushing yards on one drive and defensive tackle Angelo Blackson tipped the pass that Smith picked.

Asked if there was any additional pressure on the defense to carry the weight with the offense still scuffling along, Morrow shook that notion off saying that, as a professional, a football player needs to be focused on helping get the win regardless.

Bears Record Offers Hope

The Bears are 2-1 despite playing two of ESPN’s preseason top-10 teams in both the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers to start the season. Their struggles against the Texans who came in allowing the eighth-most passing yards are cause for concern. But Eberflus continues to preach patience with Fields and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy finishing their third game together.

That message is a lot easier to sell when the team is winning.

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They travel to take on the New York Giants team that is 2-0 for the first time since 2016 and has looked the part under new head coach Brian Daboll. Daboll was linked with the Bears’ head coaching position early in the process but he and the Giants had eyes for each other.

Sitting third in the NFC North despite being in a three-way tie record-wise, the Bears are winning ugly and, hopefully, learning lessons along the way.

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