So, About Last Night…

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54-11. That was, just, well. I’m still struggling with how to describe the disappointment the Bears delivered last night on national television. Things went very well for Chicago for most of Sunday; with Detroit and Green Bay both losing, the Bears had a chance to clinch the division with a win over the Eagles. Philadelphia’s hopes, meanwhile, became tied to next weekend’s game against Dallas; the result against the Bears didn’t matter at all to their divisional chances. But if you didn’t know that going in, you wouldn’t have known by how the game unfolded.

The opening drives of the game went like this:

  • Bears three and out
  • Eagles touchdown
  • Hester fumbles kick return
  • Eagles touchdown
  • Bears three and out
  • Eagles touchdown

And that’s how you go down 21-0, a deficit from which they did not come close to recovering. They were down 24-0 at one point, managing a field goal at the end of the second quarter to cut the halftime deficit to 24-3. Chicago’s defense managed to force a stop out of the break, but the Eagles pinned the Bears within the five yard line, and on Chicago’s first play from scrimmage Matt Forte was tackled in the end zone for a safety. Philadelphia promptly scored another touchdown, and that was basically that.

The numbers weren’t pretty for the Bears. The Eagles had two 100-yard rushers in LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown, who ran for 134 and 119 respectively. McCoy had two touchdowns, while Brown and third-stringer Chris Polk had one each. Things weren’t much better for the Bears passing defense, as Nick Foles went 21-25 for 230 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Eagles got whatever they wanted on offense; it was essentially a training camp drill all night long.

The Bears offense was surprisingly poor. Matt Forte ran for a mere 29 yards on 9 carries, while Jay Cutler was 20/35 for 222, with a touchdown and a late pick-six; both essentially after the game was decided. This was unquestionably one of the worst games of the season, in every phase of the game. There really aren’t any positives to build on from the game itself, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any silver linings from Sunday. The results from earlier in the day give the Bears a chance to beat the Packers and win the division. That was the scenario I was expecting going into Sunday anyway, so I’m not too terribly disappointed in the scenario. But I am disappointed in their display against the Eagles. They were a team with everything to play for, and they failed to show up. That’s an outlier relative to the rest of the season, though, and I think the Bears are capable of moving on to next week and playing well.

Which is important, obviously. The storyline seems almost too perfect: the Bears biggest rival will be coming to Chicago, a potential Aaron Rodgers return looms, and the season will be on the line for both teams. If the Bears can’t get up for that game, they don’t deserve to make the playoffs. As fans, we have a week to get ready for it, and I can’t wait.

(Editor’s note: due to the lateness of the game, a lot of my sources for Bears Bullets material weren’t available by the time I had to go to sleep in order to be functional for my day job. I’ll have an evening post instead. But you should feel free to vent, commiserate, and debate the game below. Or if you’d prefer to move on and look at next week, maybe that’s the healthier option.)

Jay Rigdon is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation Bears, and can also be found @BearsBN on Twitter.

27 responses to “So, About Last Night…”

  1. mjhurdle

    “That was the scenario I was expecting going into Sunday anyway, so I’m not too terribly disappointed in the scenario. But I am disappointed in their display against the Eagles.”

    Totally agree.
    I thought the Bears would probably lose last night. I did not expect that they could not perform even averagely in any aspect of the game.
    That said, hopefully the Bears remember that they are a professional football team again and stomp the Packers next week.

  2. Darth Ivy

    Last year they had a chance to make the playoffs until the very end. If they history repeats itself two years in a row like that, wow. That’ll be disappointing. And as a Cubs fan (ahem, and bulls fan), I’m so sick of disappointment (I regret not being a blackhawks fan)

    I hope but do not expect anything good next week against the packers

    1. Matt

      One way to fix your regret — I highly suggest becoming a Blackhawks fan. Not only are they (in my opinion) the best-run organization in hockey, but they’re like giving you a big warm hug and saying “It’s gonna be OK, Tiger” in the emotional blizzard that has been 2013 Chicago sports.

  3. Jon

    Mel Tucker has to be fired this offseason. He’s incompetent.

    I think this is the worst rushing defense in the history of the NFL. I have never seen a defense this bad on a professional level. The only time I have seen run defense this bad is on the college and high school level when you have a case of a school simply outclassed in size and talent.

    1. Darth Ivy

      I think it’s safe to say that he’s a lame duck D coordinator.

      1. Jon

        I’d love for the Bears to go after Seattles LB coach Ken Norton Jr as DC.

    2. Quinn

      Chris Conte is also by far the worst safety in the league and needs to be cut loose immediately.

      1. Cubs_Questions

        ^ This. I remember hearing a few weeks ago that Conte hadn’t missed a snap all year and thinking, “Well that explains part of it.”

  4. mdavis

    it was just embarrassing. all around. receivers wide open. gaping holes. terrible tackling. and i’m sorry, but on twitter everyone calling for mccown….i didnt realize cutler played defense, special teams and offensive line? was he great last night? no. but he was gettin killed and they were pretty much one diminesional. the pick i dont even care about bc they were down 40 already. hopefully they figure out something for next week otherwise this is just a shame.

  5. Matt

    One thing that bothered me both last night (and throughout the season) is what I perceive as the ill-timed penchant for the long ball. I get it if you’re up and it’s third and long, and it’s almost the same thing as a punt. But if there was ever a game for a little bit of dink and dunk (or even just the five-to-ten yard passes), it was this game. The best defense would have been killing time with the offense, ESPECIALLY in this game.

    Don’t confuse me for being one of those who thinks McCown should still be playing (because I’m not), but for last night’s game I think a “McCown style” game would have been better for the Bears. Play within your limits, don’t take silly shots, quick passes to neutralize the pass rush, etc. I admit I’m not familiar enough with which deep throws are dialed up vs. which are Cutler’s decisions, but it was disappointing. This offense is good enough. It doesn’t need the spectacular play.

    Moving forward I’d like to see Jay rein in some of the deep throws, because I think the intermediate game will absolutely put the Bears offense in positions to succeed, and consistently so.

  6. Funn Dave

    Well, we’ve known for a while it would probably come down to week 17. Go Pack Go.

  7. J. F. Edwards

    My father, a Vikings fan, was chatting me up on the phone before the game. And we even both agreed that–at worst–the Bears would play better than Minnesota against the Bengals earlier in the day.

    *facepalm*

    Tough crow to eat.

    1. beerhelps

      You need a new dad.

  8. mak

    Instead of impossibly listing all of the issues last night, the truth of the matter is the Eagles were the Bears nightmare matchup with their run game. The Bears are absolutely lost on zone reads and misdirections. Even if they get out and score a TD and control the clock, I can’t see how they win that game.

    Having said that, the Packers (and the Panthers, Cowboys, Cardinals and Saints of their possible remaining opponents) are a MUCH better matchup for the D (or lack thereof). Even if Rodgers comes back. Trestman has done a good job keeping this team even keeled and I expect to see them take the division title on Sunday.

    1. Cheese Chad

      I agree. The bears were bad last night but Eagles have been the most efficient offense outside of Denver for the better part of the year. They are good!

  9. Cheese Chad

    I almost hope they don’t make the playoffs. I do not think they have a chance to win the Super Bowl so why not get a little better draft pick. Having said that I suppose anything can happen in the playoffs. Either way they should draft a QB they can groom but I think re-signing Cutler is a must.

    1. ClevelandCubsFan

      Wow. Besides MAYBE a killer O-line pick, the Bears better be drafting defense defense defense. The Eagles just put on a free clinic for absolutely tearing apart a bad Bears defense. If they aren’t radically different on defenae next year I don’t see us going to the playoffs.

  10. T

    Getting so tired of the Cutler fans acting as if anyone who says that Mccown should be playing doesnt know anything about football. Let me get this straight. You have a qb putting up numbers better than Payton “Frickin” Manning yet you bench him for an adequate qb who overthrows recivers and consistently gets sacked because he has no pocket awareness?

    There is one play from this year that really encapsulates why Jay Cutler will never be a consistent winner. It wasnt even a passing play, and Jay Cutler wasnt even on the field. The play took place during the Redskins game. It was third and four and the Bears were driving into Skins territory. Trestman called a running play to Forte. Mccown hands the ball to Forte and he gains four yards and gets the first down.

    However, when watching the play again you can see why Forte got just enough yards for the first. Mccown, when handing the ball to Forte, turned his back to the line and then crouched down and put in the effort to sell a fake as if he was doing a bootleg. This was just enough to make the middle linebacker step towards Mccown for a brief second. The linebacker recovered quckly and made the tackle on Forte, but that little fake allowed him to get the one extra yard for the first down. Next play was a td.

    If Culer was the qb on that play Forte doesnt get the first down and the Bears either punt or try a long field goal. Everyone would have blamed Trestman’s play-calling when actually it would have been the lackidaisical qb play of Jay Cutler and his lack of effort in trying to improve his game. These little things add up during a a game and are even more magnified during a season. It is why the offense runs better under Mccown. jay Cutler is a 30 yeard old veteran and clearly still doesn’t understand all the little intricaciies of the position. Or maybe he does, and just doesnt care enough to practice these aspects of the postion.

    Do I think Mccown is the long-term solution? No, but neither is Jay Cutler. For the short term of this season and maybe next, I would go with Mccown over Cutler in a hearbeat.

    1. Cheese Chad

      I can buy that. I think Cutler does have more talent but you’re right talent doesn’t override decision-making. My biggest argument against re-signing Cutler is his inability to stay healthy. If they don’t re-sign they need to draft defense heavy and fix the rest of the team before addressing a QB. They still have a good sized window with the offensive weapons.

    2. Cheese Chad

      It is worthy noting the teams McCown was facing during his 13/1 TD to INT ratio. They were terrible.

    3. greenroom

      I am with you on this one. Cutler has great skills., better than McCown. But McCown imho, has way better decision making skills. and I am not sure if its simply Cutler’s facial expressions or demeanor, but he seems to pout after throwing an INT. Hence why he ended up with a few multiple interception, games. I would rather see 3 -5 yd plays then 1 30 yd play then an INT.

  11. T

    Agreed. What’s scary is that the eagles are ranked 26th against the pass and they could do very little to expose the weakness. Would have Mccown done better? I really think so. Still probably would have lost the game, but they might have been in contention.

    1. mdavis

      not when the D was giving up 54 points, the o line couildnt protect and they couldnt run the ball. people forget the D’s that McCown went against were awful, and the offense averaged almost 40 yards more on the ground. McCown would have made zero difference.

      1. Tony

        Peyton Manning couldn’t make a difference last night. Last time I checked cutler wasn’t playing defense last night

        1. mdavis

          exactly. its hard to play offense when you’re down 21-0 10 mins into the game. the gameplan goes out the window, and it was 1 dimensional. o line had a rough night and cutler took a beating. but i think they’ll bounce back. its time for a statement game….wouldnt mind flynn being the starter for the pakc though haha

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  13. TheRiot2

    The Eagle game was beneficial for any Bears fans needing to get their stomach pumped without going to the emergency room. I can’t remember seeing a game in my 60 + years years of watching Bears football when they were so thoroughly dominated except for a few 49’ers playoff games and the Giants 1956 playoff game 47-7 ouch. Went back and looked and found Dallas 37 Bears 7 in 1977,.49’ers 23- Bears 0 in 84.1994 it was 49’ers 44 Bears 15. Did I mention I hate the 9’ers almost as much as I hate the Packers.That’s a lot of hate to satore up,lol.

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