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.