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Bears open preseason with victory

Posted Aug 8, 2014

Jay Cutler looked sharp and the Bears defense played takeaway against the top-rated quarterback in the NFL last season in Friday night's 34-28 preseason-opening win over the Eagles.

Jay Cutler looked sharp and the Bears defense played takeaway against the top-rated quarterback in the NFL last season in Friday night's 34-28 preseason-opening win over the Eagles.

Cutler completed 9 of 13 passes for 85 yards with one touchdown and a 112.7 passer rating on two series before being replaced by Jordan Palmer at the end of the first quarter. The defense, meanwhile, intercepted Nick Foles passes on two of Philadelphia's first three possessions.

Trailing 28-17 midway through the third quarter, the Bears scored the game's final 17 points as Jimmy Clausen threw touchdown passes of 73 yards to Chris Williams and 22 yards to Micheal Spurlock before Robbie Gould added a 25-yard field goal with 1:55 to play.

"It was a good win," said coach Marc Trestman. "It took all 90 guys to win this game. We had 90 Chicago Bears out there and we played four quarters. I was really excited about that."

The Bears defense excelled against Foles, who led the NFL with a 119.2 passer rating last season. Foles, who threw for 27 touchdowns and two interceptions in 2013, matched that interception total in the first quarter Friday night when he was picked off by Ryan Mundy and Sherrick McManis.

Cutler put the Bears ahead 7-0 with a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Miller on a nifty back-shoulder throw late in the first quarter. Cutler sustained the drive with completions of 13 yards to Brandon Marshall on third-and-11 and 23 yards to Dante Rosario on third-and-10.

"We had a few backed-up situations, some long yardage we were able to convert on," Cutler said. "I was getting more of a comfort level with the O-line, sitting in the pocket. Things were going good."

After the Eagles took a 14-7 lead on Matthew Tucker touchdown runs of 4 and 1 yards, the Bears tied the score 14-14 on Palmer's 12-yard TD pass to a leaping Miller with 1:07 left in the first half . The score came after Palmer had been intercepted early in the second quarter by safety Nate Allen.

The Bears' top three quarterbacks—Cutler, Palmer and Clausen—combined to complete 65 percent of their passes for 339 yards with four TDs, one interception and a 119.1 passer rating.

The Bears struggled on special teams all night, however, most notably when they allowed a 102-yard TD return by Josh Huff on the ensuing kickoff as the Eagles took a 21-14 halftime lead.

After Gould's 26-yard field goal cut the deficit to 21-17 early in the third quarter, Eagles backup quarterback Matt Barkley capped a 12-play, 94-yard drive with a 14-yard TD pass on a screen to running back David Fluellen, widening the margin to 28-17.

Clausen answered with TD passes on back-to-back third quarter possessions, hitting a streaking Williams down the right sideline for 73 yards and a wide open Micheal Spurlock over the middle for 22 yards, giving the Bears a 31-28 lead.

Trailing 34-28, the Eagles reached the Bears' 33 with :02 remaining. But cornerback Demontre Hurst tackled receiver Quron Pratt at the 19 after a 14-yard reception as time expired.

"It turned out to be the type of game we are going to have throughout the year, these 58-plus-two games," Trestman said. "It's going to take all 60 minutes to win them. It's good for our football team, and good for the guys. It was very encouraging from that standpoint."

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