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Bears vs. Eagles: Notes from a cringeworthy blowout

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Almost nothing went right for the Bears in their showdown with the leaders of the NFC.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles
Mitch Trubisky certainly has had better games than his outing against the Eagles.
James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe it’s for the best.

The Chicago Bears fell to 3-8 with their humiliating 31-3 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. In doing so, they increased their draft position and turned up the already-blazing hot temperature on John Fox’s proverbial seat. However, it was still an unacceptable performance in all three phases. Here are a few of my notes from the game.

  • Akiem Hicks started the first possession off of a high note, having two tackles for a loss in a row. For someone who didn’t practice all week, you certainly couldn’t tell that on that drive.
  • You guys remember last week when I said that Tarik Cohen needs to make better decisions on special teams? This rings true again this week. He cost the Bears five yards by letting the opening punt bounce instead of going for the fair catch. Sure, their offense would’ve been backed up deep in their own territory either way, but even the smallest amount of yards count in those situations.
  • The Bears started off the game with...a pass? I like it.
  • Christian Jones had two great tackles on the second possession. He has stepped in at inside linebacker and has impressed.
  • Prince Amukamara had a fantastic pass break up on a Carson Wentz pass intended for Torrey Smith. He read the play well and made a great break on the ball.
  • The Eagles struck first with a 17-yard pass to Zach Ertz. Chicago’s secondary as a whole looked dumb on the play, as Kyle Fuller, Adrian Amos and Eddie Jackson all blew assignments. You can’t afford to give that much space to one of the best tight ends in the NFL.
  • Mitch Trubisky threw an interception to Malcolm Jenkins. Dion Sims then proceeded to strip the ball from Jenkins’ hands and the Bears recovered. What a weird turn of events.
  • Cairo Santos missed his first field goal attempt as a Chicago Bear. Although it was a disappointing start to his tenure here, it’s not like Connor Barth could have done any better.
  • On the next drive, LeGarrette Blount ran for a 35-yard gain. He then fumbled the ball off of an Adrian Amos strip. The Bears managed to get bailed out by a lucky turnover after a stupid mistake yet again.
  • Carson Wentz is a fantastic athlete. Cre’Von LeBlanc almost had him down for a sack on a blitz, but he faked the cornerback out and ran for a gain of 16 yards.
  • Even though I was rooting against the Eagles, that flip that Nelson Agholor had over Kyle Fuller to get into the end zone was quite impressive.
  • Not having Leonard Floyd really showed. The Bears failed to generate anything that resembled pressure off the edge throughout the game. If they didn’t consider edge rusher to be a need for this offseason, they should consider it to be one now. They’re going to have to have a reliable pass rush if they want to make that next step to playoff contention next season.
  • Yeah...putting Sam Acho on Ertz in coverage sounds like a great idea.
  • The Bears called a timeout despite having extra time after Dontrelle Inman got hurt. If that isn’t a prime example of why they need a coaching overhaul, then I don’t know what is.
  • Jonathan Bullard got his first sack of the season on his first start of the year. He flattened Halapoulivaati Vaitai and caught Wentz before he could scramble out of the pocket.
  • The Bears haven't given him a lot of opportunity to succeed, but it’s encouraging to see the second-year defensive end doing well in a starting role.
  • The Bears did not get a single first down in the first half. Not even one. I know that Philadelphia has a great defense, but that's just simply unacceptable.
  • Amukamara got called for two holding penalties in the first half alone, both being on third down. He was simply too handsy five yards past the line of scrimmage.
  • Chicago’s run defense...woof. Their defensive line failed to plug up holes, and their linebackers got swallowed up by blocking advancing to the second level. The Eagles had 124 rushing yards in the first half alone, 77 of them coming from Blount. A big chunk of that came on this phenomenal 22-yard gain.
  • Alshon Jeffery Revenge Game 2017 got off to a great start for the former Bears wide out. He started the first half off with five receptions, 52 yards and a touchdown. Nobody in Chicago’s secondary was able to keep up with him.
  • After the first half, the Bears had 33 total yards as an offense: 27 through the air, six on the ground. They also ended the half with 36 penalty yards on six penalties. That might have played a factor into their trailing 24-0 at halftime.
  • There have been some plays this season where Bobby Massie has looked like a solid starter in the NFL. There have also been plays this season where Massie has absolutely sucked. His allowed strip sack was one of those latter plays. Do the Bears look for a replacement in the offseason? Do they try to work with him and make him more consistent? It will be interesting to see what they plan on doing with their right tackle position.
  • Jordan Howard had a good gain on a screen pass in a third-and-long situation, but the Bears nullified the play after a Philadelphia defensive lineman. It would’ve been safer and smarter to decline the penalty and go for the easy field goal. Although Chicago ended up around the same spot after a pass to Tre McBride, it could’ve ended up backfiring on them.
  • The Bears’ defense allowed the Eagles to convert on three fourth-down conversions in a row, two of which being quarterback sneaks by Wentz. Although they were successful on their fourth fourth-down stopping attempt, they shouldn’t have been in a 0-for-3 situation to begin with.
  • There was a little bit of improvement on defense for Chicago, as they didn’t allow any points in the third quarter. Their offense failed to take advantage of it. They got a field goal on one of their drives, but finished their second offensive possession with a three-and-out.
  • The Bears allowed a 30-yard run by Jay Ajayi, who then fumbled the ball after a strip by Cre’Von LeBlanc, only for Nelson Agholor to recover the fumble in the end zone for a touchdown...
  • Outside of simply playing better run defense - the Bears had several chances to bring Ajayi down and failed - there isn’t much the Bears could’ve done on that fumble recovery. Agholor was just in the right place at the right time.
  • Trubisky is a great athlete and all, but his pocket presence when pressured is still shaky. He often steps up in the pocket when he should roll out, which causes him to get pummeled by defensive tackles inside. Considering the fact that he’s still a rookie, he has time to improve in this area. However, it’s something that must be fixed this offseason.
  • If you haven’t already, familiarize yourself with this year’s group of wide receiver free agents. Jarvis Landry, Allen Robinson, Paul Richardson and Terrelle Pryor are among players who could realistically hit the open market this offseason. It would be extremely disappointing if the Bears didn’t try to sign at least one starting-caliber wide receiver this year.
  • In what might be the most encouraging play by a young player this week, Isaiah Irving recovered a fumble in garbage time. The undrafted rookie saw increased time at edge rusher with Leonard Floyd out. Although he didn’t match his teammate’s production - and it would be foolish to believe he would - he at least made a big play, which is good.
  • Trubisky threw an interception to former Bear Corey Graham late in the fourth quarter on a play that was the icing on the crap cake.
  • This was the worst game the Bears have played all year. Their offensive line was absolutely atrocious, which made the ground game horrendous as a result. Trubisky made a lot of very bad throws. Their receivers couldn’t get open. Their defensive line barely put any pressure on Wentz all game, and their linebackers weren’t anything to call home about. Even their secondary, which at least had a few good plays, had its fair share of terrible plays. The Eagles were the better team heading into this game, and it showed. Chicago never stood a chance.
  • At least the Bears play the San Francisco 49ers next week.