Bears’ Alshon Jeffery: ‘We have to score (freaking) touchdowns’
Alshon Jeffery’s R-rated summation of the Bears’ offensive struggles took only 18 words.
“We have to score (freaking) touchdowns,” he said. “That’s it. period. Touchdowns win games. See what three points get us?”
It earned the Bears a 17-16 loss to the Jaguars in a young season’s nadir Sunday.
For the fifth time in as many games this season, Jeffery failed to reach the end zone, too.
At least quarterback Brian Hoyer looked at him on the final offensive play this week. One week after Hoyer threw a fourth-down incompletion to Cam Meredith to end the Bears’ hopes, the quarterback threw a pass — on fourth-and-10 from the Jaguars’ 48 — to Jeffery that was batted by rookie Jalen Ramsey.
Jeffery was more involved than the week before; his seven first-half targets were more than the six he had in the entire Colts game.
Against single-coverage — “We kinda anticipated it a little bit,” Jeffery said — he caught six balls for 90 yards in the first half.
“I was getting in a pretty good groove,” he said.
Facing more double coverage in the second half, though, he had only one catch for three yards on six targets.
“We got him the ball early and had some big plays,” Hoyer said. “I’m just trying to go out there the way I’m coached and get through the reads. …
“Obviously when you have a big first half like he did, they are going to try to take that guy away.”
For the second-straight game, Meredith finished with more targets, catches and receiving yards than Jeffery.
“I’m not going to change the way I play, “ Hoyer said. “I’m doing what I’m coached to do — spreading the ball around. That’s the way this offense is going to be run.”
Ramsey, the fifth overall pick this year, trailed Jeffery all day. He admitted he didn’t have an answer for Jeffery’s comeback routes in the first half, even if he “felt he was pushing off a little bit” to get open.
“When we came in at halftime, I did some adjustments in my head — was going to play him a little bit differently,” Ramsey said. “Went back out there in the second half and I was determined not to let him catch a pass on me.
“The first half, he gave me the business. I just kept repeating to myself, ‘This is a 60-minute game.’”
Jeffery was impressed.
“He’s long, athletic,” Jeffery said. “He’s going to be great.”
The receiver insisted the Bears weren’t dead, pointing to two-straight divisional matchups in the next 15 days — at Green Bay and at home against the Vikings.
For the Bears to have a chance, though, both the Bears and their best receiver will have to find the end zone.
“It’s frustrating, but you still gotta stay together,” he said. “The division is still wide open. Even though the Vikings are undefeated, we haven’t played them.”