PHILADELPHIA – The Bears tried to rally, but the hole they dug in Sunday’s road game against the Eagles was ultimately too deep to climb out of.
The main culprit in a disheartening 22-14 loss was an offense that went three-and-out on its first five possessions while being held to minus-10 yards on 15 plays.
“Just really, really sloppy, extremely sloppy,” said coach Matt Nagy. “We need to start faster. When we play from ahead and we give our defense a chance to pin their ears back, that will really help us and that didn’t happen.”
The offense finally showed some signs of life in the second half, but by then the Eagles (5-4) had built a commanding 19-0 lead. It could have been a lot worse had the Bears defense not forced Philadelphia to settle for two Jake Elliott 28-yard field goals after a pair of third-down stops inside the Chicago 10.
Two David Montgomery 1-yard touchdown runs closed the gap to 19-14, but the Bears never touched the ball over the game's final 8:39.
After a Bears punt, the Eagles followed with a methodical 16-play, 69-yard drive that burned 8:14 off the clock. They converted four third-down plays before Elliott’s 38-yard field goal widened the margin to 22-14 with just :25 to play.
“I definitely felt like the momentum had switched,” said outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. “[But] we have to do a better job of executing at the end of the game, to get off of the field and give our offense another chance to score.”
Elliott pooched the ensuing kickoff. Adam Shaheen muffed it and the Eagles recovered the loose ball to clinch the win. With their fourth straight loss, the Bears fell to 3-5, remaining alone in last place in the NFC North. They haven’t won a game since Sept. 29 against the Vikings at Soldier Field.
“It’s frustrating for all of us,” Nagy said. “It’s not what we wanted or where we know we should be. That’s where it’s at, but we’ve got to do everything we can to stick together and make sure that we keep fighting.”
The Bears blew a golden opportunity to gain ground on their division rivals, all of whom lost on Sunday—the Packers to the Chargers, the Vikings to the Chiefs and the Lions to the Raiders.
The Eagles dominated on the stat sheet, holding decisive advantages for the game in yards (373-164), first downs (26-10) and time of possession (40:18-19:42).
Nagy blamed the offense’s lack of success in the first half on negative first-down plays that put the Bears behind the chains.
“So the next play that occurs, it’s second-and-15 or it’s first-and-20 with a penalty,” Nagy said. “If you think you’re going to do that coming into a place like this, with the defense that they have, with that front line, you’re not going to be in good shape, and that’s what happened and the results showed it.”
Mitchell Trubisky struggled most of the game, completing just 10 of 21 passes for 125 yards and a 66.6 passer rating. He did not commit any turnovers—an improvement over last Sunday when he threw an interception and lost a fumble in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Chargers—but was sacked three times.
Trubisky missed an open Allen Robinson with a third-down pass in the right flat on the Bears’ first possession. The quarterback’s best throw was a season-long 53-yard completion to Taylor Gabriel that set up Montgomery’s first touchdown.
There were some positive signs on offense last week when the Bears recorded season highs with 388 yards and 26 first downs against the Chargers. But they registered season lows with 164 yards and 10 first downs Sunday in Philadelphia.
“We wanted to just get that rhythm going and get those first downs kind of like we did last week early on,” Nagy said. “But we just couldn’t get it going and it snowballed, it really did. It just snowballed and it was one thing after the next—and it’s not what can happen. We can’t have that.”
After rushing for a career-high 135 yards on 27 carries last week, Montgomery was limited to 40 yards on 14 attempts Sunday.
For the Eagles, Carson Wentz completed 26 of 39 passes for 239 yards with one touchdown and a 91.7 passer rating. Tight end Zach Ertz caught nine passes for 103 yards and one TD. And former Bears running back Jordan Howard rushed for 82 yards and one TD on 19 carries.
The Bears will look to rebound next Sunday when they host the Lions after another disappointing loss.
“It is heart-breaking and crushing to this locker room because we grind and work so hard during the week with each other,” Gabriel said. “It is tough to see my brothers walking around here with their heads down. But at the end of the day, we just have to come out and execute, and that is what it comes down to.”