By Bryan Dietzler
The Chicago Bears, hoping to at least blunt the powerful Eagles offense and stay competitive, went into Philadelphia this Sunday afternoon and laid one gigantic egg. The Eagles were way too much for Chicago on both offense and defense, and the Bears couldn’t do anything positive.
Granted, we don’t want to relive the game but to find out more about the Bears identity and see where their problems lie, we should look at what they are doing.
And yes, the loss was hard to swallow but better things are ahead for the Bears.
Read on to find out how it went and what happened to the Bears. We will also look at some tidbits and details from the game.
The Eagles got the ball first as the Bears won the toss but decided to defer. Philadelphia was forced to punt on that possession. The Bears got the ball back deep in their own territory and went three and out. The Eagles took the ball and wound up just short of the fourth down after three plays. They decided to go for it and got the first down.
Philadelphia’s drive continued and ended up with a touchdown from Carson Wentz to tight end Zach Ertz. Chicago took the ball on their next drive in great field position, and Mitchell Trubisky was intercepted but the ball was fumbled, and the Bears recovered. Chicago was back in business. However, on that drive, they couldn’t convert and were forced to punt.
Philadelphia got the ball back at their own seven and gave it back on a fumble by LeGarrette Blount which was forced by Adrian Amos. Chicago committed a penalty and found themselves getting pushed further and further back. In the end, they came up just short of a first down on a long pass from Trubisky to Inman. Cairos Santos came in for a 54-yard field goal and missed. The score remained 7-0.
The Eagles marched methodically down the field and appeared to be held on the drive. But a holding call against Prince Amukamara kept the drive alive. Philadelphia would score on a Wentz to Nelson Agholor pass on the next play and go up 14-0.
It was time for Chicago to get something going. On their next drive, they were hurt by penalties and a fumble down at the goal line. They were forced to punt from their own end zone and the punt was partially blocked. The Eagles had very good field position. After a good defensive stand, they were forced to kick a 45-yard field goal attempt which was good.
Philadelphia went up 17-0.
With 6:52 left to go in the half, Chicago went three and out. The Eagles went for it again on fourth down and made it, so their drive continued. They finished off the drive in the closing seconds of the half with a Wentz to Alshon Jeffery pass. That made it 24-0.
That’s how the half would end.
At this point in the game, Chicago had no first downs and six penalties.
What a terrible effort.
Chicago got the ball to start the second half and managed to get their first first down of the game on a Trubisky to Daniel Brown pass. The drive was on the verge of stalling out several times, but the Eagles jumped offsides a few times to help keep it going. Santos attempted a 38-yard field goal and made it giving the Bears some points.
The score was 24-3 with 8:40 left in the 3rd quarter.
Philadelphia went for it again on fourth down on their next drive and was successful. That was their third fourth down conversion of the game. They attempted their fifth fourth down conversion of the game on fourth and six but the pass was broken up and Chicago took over. The Bears couldn’t do much and they were forced to punt. The Eagles scored on a wild play that saw running back Jay Ajayi fumble then Agholor recover the ball in the end zone for the touchdown.
The Eagles went up 31-3.
On their next possession, the Bears went three and out quickly. Philadelphia punted on their next drive. Chicago got down the field a bit on the next drive but faced a 4th and 2. They couldn’t convert, so the Eagles took over on Chicago’s side of the field. Philadelphia put Nick Foles in at quarterback to finish the game and on their first drive with him in Blount fumbled for the second time and Isiah Irving recovered it.
Chicago took the ball and Trubisky was almost intercepted by Rasul Douglas as the Bears were driving towards the red zone. The Bears dodged a bullet there. But on a fourth down play, Trubisky was intercepted, this time for real. The Eagles knelt and the agony for the Bears, at least on the field, had ended.
Here are some news and notes from the game.
I talk about penalties each week. The Bears had nine of them for 56 yards and they came, again, at critical times. It’s all about discipline folks. The Bears are not well disciplined and are making mental errors. The false starts are mental errors. The holding calls are errors in technique as well as mental breakdowns and they always come at bad times. The Bears seem to have a lot of problems with those types of penalties and there doesn’t seem to be a remedy in sight.
Once again, this goes back to how well the coaching staff is preparing the players for game action as well as coaching them on the sidelines after the penalties happen. The Bears coaching staff is not doing their job.
There were only two injuries that that took players out for long periods of time but there were a couple of instances where players went out for just a few plays. Guard Josh Sitton went out of the game with a concussion and didn’t return. Safety Adrian Amos had a hamstring injury and wasn’t seen on the field that much in the second half. Not much is known about Amos’ injury but Sitton is in the concussion protocol.
Dontrelle Inman was shaken up and went out for a bit. Thank goodness, he was able to come back. Cre’Von LeBlanc went down for a while. Nothing much is known about their injuries.
Whose Fault is It?
I have written about the fact that head coach John Fox should be fired. However, some are pointing the finger at management and ownership. Even the players are being looked at as the root of the Bears’ woes this season. Ultimately, the blame for this mess can fall on every level of this team from ownership, to management and to the players that took the field on Sunday. Everyone is at fault. But this had to start somewhere.
Where did it start?
Everything starts at the top. It starts with ownership. Ownership needs to take a long look at the management they have in place and realize that there are problems that need to be solved all along the line with this team. The owners need to realize that Ted Phillips has done more harm to the team than good and his long tenure needs to end. They need to provide more tools to Ryan Pace and he needs to make better decisions. They need their players to perform better and their coaching staff to teach the players correctly.
The identity of a team is typically taken from either the owner, the general manager, the head coach, the players or all the above. In this case, all the above have a hand in the Bears woes and this team needs major changes.
We will explore what some of these changes could and should be in future articles.
Is there anything positive that could have come out of this game? If you are not a fan of John Fox, a positive might be that it could have put a nail in his coffin and that he will be fired. Maybe it was good to see the defense force two turnovers? There isn’t much of anything to hang your hat on after this game. It was just another terrible game and a perfect example of the Bears’ futility.
Hopefully, things will get better. They will, won’t they?