week 14 bears grades
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The steps taken by the Bears in the days leading up to Monday’s game played major parts in what the various units were able to do against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night.
Players credited coach Marc Trestman for taking practice indoors one day (Thursday) to work on several specifics, then outside on Friday and Saturday to acclimate their bodies to the cold. It was simply being used to the cold, “it was knowing how our bodies would feel because of the cold, knowing how you warm up when it’s like that and everything,” said tackle Jermon Bushrod. “You knew it was going to be a process.”
Trestman also dialed down tension by placing the focus on the positive of playing on Monday night, rather than the pressure of desperately needing a win.
“We put it as we were playing on prime time,” Trestman said. The big emphasis this week, we played well in prime time. ... We didn’t get into all the hypotheticals and all the things that go into winning or losing a game.”
Coaches also placed special emphasis on combination blocks by the offense, something that had slipped over the past couple of weeks. As a result, the Bears had 149 rushing yards, second this season only to the 171 at Green Bay, and an average of 4.7 yards per carry.
“They schemed us well,” said Dallas defensive tackle Jason Hatcher. “They knew what was coming most of the time.”
The defense was rocked backwards for touchdown drives of 75 and 68 yards on two of the two possessions. Coaches had a sideline meeting to reinforce specific assignments and mindsets. The result was that the defense allowed 151 yards on the first three possessions and only 177 over the final six, the last two of those accounting for 143 of the yards when the Bears were ahead 42-14.
“Really happy with the way our defense made those stops in the second half,” Trestman said.
Moon's Grade: A