The Bears lost their fourth straight game Sunday, falling to 3-8 with a lopsided 31-3 defeat to the Eagles in Philadelphia. Here are three things that stood out in the Week 12 game:
(1) The gap between the Bears and the NFL's best team appeared expansive.
Sunday's contest at Lincoln Financial Field was just as lopsided as the score indicated. The Bears were never in the game, falling behind 24-0 at halftime. The Eagles dominated across the board, holding decisive advantages in first downs (24-8), total yards (420-140) and time of possession (37:08-22:52). After one-score losses to the Vikings, Saints, Packers and Lions over the previous seven weeks, Sunday's blowout was disheartening for the Bears, who failed to pick up a first down until their first possession of the second half.
"We played bad, and we played a good team, so that's how it goes," said quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. "We just can't let it get out of hand like that, and we have to get better."
The Bears aren't the first team the Eagles throttled. In fact, Philadelphia has now won each of its last three games by 28-point margins, thumping the Broncos 51-23 and Cowboys 37-9 before Sunday's blowout. The Eagles have won nine straight and boast the NFL's best record at 10-1.
The Bears, on the other hand, remain mired in last place in the NFC North at 3-8. They'll try to snap their four-game skid Sunday when they host the 1-10 49ers at Soldier Field. "There are two numbers: there's 3-13 and 8-8," Fox said Monday. "That all starts on Wednesday when we start preparing, you get this out of your system and then you start getting ready for San Francisco."
(2) Like the rest of the Bears roster, Trubisky struggled against the Eagles.
The Bears rookie quarterback didn't receive much help from a non-existent running game that produced just six yards on 14 carries. Or from an injury-depleted receiving corps. But Trubisky did not perform well, completing 17 of 33 passes for 147 yards with two interceptions and a paltry 38.3 passer rating. The two picks matched his total from his previous six NFL starts.
Trubisky was inaccurate throughout most of the game, but Fox said that the quarterback wasn't the only one to blame. "Football is timing, football is executing; everybody doing their job exactly the way it's designed to be," Fox said. "I don't think you can put accuracy just on Mitch. There's a lot of moving parts that go into that. Whether it's protection, whether it's depth of routes, the cleanness of the route, there's just a lot that goes into it."
Fox insisted Monday that he's not worried about Trubisky losing his confidence. "Not at all," said the Bears coach. "I think it's when you do have a struggle that you really get stronger. He's a strong young man and I think he'll respond very well."
Asked how he will keep his confidence up, Trubisky said: "I think just going back to knowing what I'm capable of and just being honest with myself. I didn't play the game I set out to play or the game that I'm capable of. So you look yourself in the eyes, you look your team in the eyes and [say] ‘Yeah, I didn't play well.' I'm going to own up to it. But I'm going to get better. They know that and I know that."
(3) The Bears defense failed to contain an explosive Philadelphia offense.
Led by talented young quarterback Carson Wentz, the Eagles compiled 24 points, 16 first downs and 272 yards in the first half before taking their foot off the gas pedal and coasting the rest of the way. Wentz threw three touchdown passes on six first-half possessions and completed 23 of 36 passes for 227 yards and a 109.4 passer rating in the game. The second overall pick in the 2016 draft, Wentz has made huge strides in his second NFL season.
"The difference between who we played last year and what he was [Sunday], the margin is crazy," said defensive end Akiem Hicks. "He is just so much better than he was. Kudos to him and all the work he put in during the offseason and in-season. He is a solid quarterback in this league and he is having a great year."
The Eagles sustained drives by converting 7-of-16 third-down opportunities (44 percent) and 3-of-4 fourth-down chances (75 percent). "I think the biggest thing was just getting off the field on third down," said defensive end Mitch Unrein. "We had them on third-and-long many, many times in the game and if you don't get off on third down, they get another set of downs, and that hurts your rushing, your defense, hurts everything. I think that was our biggest thing that we can improve on."