Jay Cutler diagnosed it in a split second. Seeing Joselio Hanson slip on the turf, he heaved a 20-yard touchdown to Johnny Knox to put the Bears up 14-3 late in the first quarter. That TD had been set up by a 39-yard hitch to Devin Hester, which left quite a few Eagles swatting at air. Those two early plays were indicative of what kind of day it would be in a 31-26 loss to Chicago yesterday at Soldier Field.
“We got to tackle better, bottom line,” said Dimitri Patterson. “Everybody knows the Bears surface is terrible. It’s like stepping into a swamp. But, hey, it is what it is and there’s nothing we can do about that. No excuses.”
The Eagles defense, playing without star playmaker Asante Samuel, just didn’t have its trademark swagger. They gave up too many big plays, missed ridiculously easy tackles and failed to record a single takeaway for the first time this season.
“You know, we’re all pissed off. We’re all embarrassed right now, but we got to fix it,” said Quintin Mikell. “We’re going to go into work [Monday], watch some film and take our lumps, and put everything back together for Thursday.”
The NFC East-leading Eagles (7-4) will host Houston on Thursday (8:20 p.m.) at Lincoln Financial Field.
What went wrong …
1 Take it in chunks – That quick-strike, Mike Martz-style offense was clicking. Of course, the Eagles certainly made it easier with some very poor tackling. In all, the Bears racked up 246 of their 349 total yards on just seven plays.
2 Turn it loose – Michael Vick hadn’t thrown an interception in his last 211 attempts. That streak ended right before halftime, when a red-zone pass was tipped and then picked off. Vick also fumbled three times (all recovered by the Eagles).
3 Secondary concern – Without defensive MVP Asante Samuel in the lineup, Bears QB Jay Cutler (four touchdowns) victimized the entire Eagles secondary.