By Dan Durkin-
(CBS) On Wednesdays, NFL teams turn the page and begin installing the game plan for their upcoming opponent. But for the Bears, the sting from Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills is still lingering at Halas Hall.READ MORE: In Wake Of 'Events Across The Country,' Chicago Police Deploy Additional Resources And Cancel Days Off For Some Units
“We lost to a team we really shouldn’t have,” linebacker Lance Briggs said.
That well may be the case, but the question now becomes: Can the Bears bounce back from a tough loss and beat a team that most think they shouldn’t this Sunday night on the road against the San Francisco 49ers?
According to Briggs, there’s no shortage of confidence, and any outside noise about the team’s deficiencies — specifically stopping the run after allowing 193 rushing yards against Buffalo — are sources of motivation.
“Right now, this week is in proving people wrong,” Briggs said. “A lot of people don’t think that we can stop the run. When we turn the tape on, it’s a very different outlook than what everybody else here sees.”
Briggs suggested Chicago was better against the run than people perceive, save for a few gash plays, one of which he admits he was at fault on.
“Two runs stick out,” Briggs said. “The one in the second quarter, that was my fault. I jumped out of my gap, and I played the quarterback when I should’ve been in the A-gap, and (Anthony Dixon) ended up getting (47 yards). And the one in overtime (Fred Jackson’s 38-yarder that set up the winning field goal). They rushed the ball a lot of times, for the most part, we fit well. But it’s got to be a complete game type of thing. It can’t be a good game of stopping the run, then you give up two big runs.”READ MORE: Remembering Victims Of COVID-19 In Illinois
That’s just it though — those two runs did happen, and they happened because of missed assignments, which has been a trend for the Bears’ defense for more than a season now. Taking Briggs at his word and believing the problems aren’t as bad as most think they are is a leap of faith for a fan base that has watched opponents routinely run the ball at will against the Bears.
This Sunday against the 49ers, the Bears face the challenge of stopping league’s most dynamic, diverse and physical run scheme.
“They’re really sharp,” Briggs said. “They’re very efficient in how they run. Where guys align, their motions. They take advantage of whether we want to call out whether it is going to be one back or two back. They’ll wham (trap block using a blocker from the back side) just about everybody on the defense and force a different player to be disciplined and make sure he’s in that gap. If he gets pushed by, it creates another alley for Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde.”
Sunday will come down to assignment football and the Bears being gap sound.
Briggs is certain the Bears are up for the challenge from a personnel standpoint.
“We’re going to be as successful as we want, we have that much talent,” Briggs said.MORE NEWS: 'We Have To Train Our Police To Use Force Less Often:' Professor David Harris On Minnesota Police Shooting That Killed Daunte Wright, Other Issues Around Police Use Of Force
Dan Durkin covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @djdurkin.