Bears embarrassed in 54-11 loss to Eagles
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter December 22, 2013 9:02PM
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- Fingers of blame point everywhere in ugly loss by Bears
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- Jay Cutler at the head of a humiliating effort
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Updated: December 23, 2013 12:40PM
PHILADELPHIA — The Bears’ cold comfort came in circumstance as much as fact.
With a chance to win and reach the playoffs Sunday, the Bears were embarrassed 54-11 by the Eagles — and yet they still have one more chance to win the NFC North.
“The good news is, we still have everything we want in front of us,” linebacker James Anderson said.
The bad news was as obvious as LeSean McCoy’s 133 yards on 18 carries, or backup Bryce Brown’s 115 on nine totes.
Or Nick Foles’ 21-for-25 passing for 230 yards and two scores.
If the 8-7 Bears are indeed a playoff team, they certainly didn’t look like it Sunday.
Now, after allowing a season-high 514 yards, they have to beat the Packers in Week 17 to become one.
“It’s kinda tough right now,” cornerback Tim Jennings said, “after you just took a whuppin’ like that.’’
About an hour before kickoff, the Bears learned that they were one win from winning the NFC North because the Packers and Lions had lost.
“We knew our situation going into the game, but all that stuff dies away pretty quickly,” said quarterback Jay Cutler, who completed 20 of 35 passes for 222 yards, was sacked five times and hit more than at any other point this season. “And we just gotta play better football — which we didn’t do very well.”
Coach Marc Trestman said playoff circumstances and other motivators “usually last about two minutes.”
It took the Bears about five minutes to trail and less than 14 to get blown out. After the Eagles scored on their sixth play on a five-yard, third-down catch by Riley Cooper, Devin Hester fumbled the ensuing kickoff.
Five plays and a one-yard LeSean McCoy touchdown later, the Bears trailed 14-0.
Cutler went three-and-out for the second time in as many tries, forcing the Bears to punt.
Brent Celek scored a 10-yard touchdown, again on third down, to go up 21-0.
Forced to play with a desperate attack, the Bears abandoned their running game. Matt Forte finished with only 29 yards on nine carries.
A Robbie Gould field goal as the first half expired made it 24-3, but the Eagles followed a safety of Forte with McCoy’s second one-yard score.
After Brandon Marshall’s five-yard touchdown catch as the third quarter expired, the Eagles rattled off 21 straight: on Chris Polk’s 10-yard run, Brandon Boykin’s 54-yard return of a Cutler interception and Brown’s 65-yard sprint.
Cutler was yanked following the interception, but Josh McCown attempted only four passes. After the game, Trestman reiterated Cutler was the starter.
“It was one of those nights,” guard Matt Slauson said. “Those nights happen in the NFL. . . . “We just need to make sure we get it fixed and not have it happen next week.”
The playoff play-in starts at a new time, 3:25 p.m., at Soldier Field.
‘‘We can’t play like this again,” linebacker Jon Bostic said.