Grading the Bears: F’s all around
BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter December 22, 2013 11:09PM
Matt Forte was a nonfactor in the first half, when the Bears fell hopelessly behind. | Rich Schultz/Getty Images
Updated: January 24, 2014 6:34AM
Jay Cutler was unable to rise above the muck of a putrid first half by the Bears. He was sacked five times and finished 20-for-35 for 222 yards, one TD and one INT for a 73.8 passer rating.
Matt Forte never really got a chance to make a difference in the running game. He had four carries for eight yards in the first half, when the Bears fell behind 24-3. The Bears abandoned the run with a lot of time left.
It was a team effort, but nobody stepped up when the Bears needed a lift in the first half. Alshon Jeffery had six receptions for 76 yards. Brandon Marshall was held to four catches for 36 yards.
The Bears were unable to
establish anything in the first half. Cutler was sacked three times, including twice on third down. Jordan Mills appeared to miss the block that led to a safety in the third quarter.
Moving up in class against the Eagles, the D-line struggled all night. The Bears never really pressured Nick Foles or laid a hand on LeSean McCoy at the line of scrimmage. Julius
Peppers was hard to find.
Try as he might, Lance Briggs made minimal impact in his first game back from a fractured left shoulder. Jon Bostic and James Anderson were no factor against the Eagles’ offense.
The Bears rarely were even close to contesting many of Foles’ passes. Safeties Major Wright and Chris Conte just didn’t make plays. Conte forced a fumble, but it was already 33-3. The Eagles had seven plays of 15 yards or more.
It was a team effort, but special teams set the tone for this
disaster in the first quarter. Adam Podlesh’s 25-yard punt and Devin Hester’s fumble helped the Eagles to a 21-0 first-quarter lead.
With a chance to clinch the
division after the Packers and Lions lost, the Bears played this game like it was one of 16. It clearly wasn’t. They failed in all three phases right from the start.