PHILADELPHIA – After forcing the Eagles to punt on three straight second-half possessions Sunday in Philadelphia, the Bears needed one more stop on defense to give their offense a chance to erase a late 19-14 deficit.
Unfortunately, the defense failed to get off the field and the offense never touched the ball over the final 8:39 of the game.
The Eagles marched from their own 11 to the Bears’ 20, converting four third-down plays before Jake Elliott’s 38-yard field goal widened the margin to 22-14 with just :25 left. The kick capped a 16-play, 69-yard drive that burned 8:14 off the clock.
“It was very uncharacteristic of us,” said cornerback Prince Amukamara. “Just with how everything went in that game and how we were still in the game and to not get off the field, we have to go to back to the board and correct that.”
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz sustained the drive by completing passes of 13 yards to receiver Alshon Jeffery on third-and-three, 15 yards to running back Miles Sanders on third-and-12, four yards to tight end Zach Ertz on third-and-three and 16 yards to tight end Dallas Goedert on third-and-nine.
Catch it: The Bears still had a chance—albeit a slim one—after the field goal made it 22-14. But Elliott pooched the ensuing kickoff and the Eagles recovered the loose ball after Adam Shaheen muffed it while trying to scoop it off the ground.
“Just catch the ball there and let’s go from there and see what we can do,” said coach Matt Nagy. “It was going to be difficult, but you’d like to see that be caught.”
Kicking it: Nagy explained to reporters why he decided to punt on fourth-and-six from the Eagles’ 44 with the Bears trailing 19-7 late in the third quarter.
“I liked the way that our defense was playing at that time,” Nagy said. “Trust me, I thought about [trying to pick up the first down]. I really, really wanted to go for it there. I did. But I had to pull back from the way our defense was getting stops. The field position was pretty imperative for us at that point.
“I thought we could back them up and then get a stop, get the ball back. I did think about going for it and it took a little bit for me to not.”
The Bears followed by forcing a three-and-out and took over at their own 42 after an Eagles punt. The offense then marched 58 yards on eight plays capped by David Montgomery’s 1-yard TD run that closed the gap to 19-14.
Tough call: It appeared that Ertz shoved Kyle Fuller in the helmet before catching a 25-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter Sunday. A flag was thrown on the play, but the officials picked it up.
“He basically stated that it was a tough call, but whatever he saw, I guess it was enough for him to pick it up,” Fuller said. “It definitely frustrates you, but you have to move past it.”
Group effort: Nagy said that he didn’t consider replacing a struggling Trubisky with backup Chase Daniel at any point during the game. The Bears coach felt the entire offense was to blame for the lack of success, not just the quarterback.
“It was us as a unit just overall, whether it was the offensive line, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and the quarterback just in general,” Nagy said. “I think for all of us we knew where we were that we can collectively just be better.”
Injury update: Nose tackle Eddie Goldman exited Sunday’s game with a thigh injury. Safety Deon Bush was inactive due to an illness.
This and that: The Bears recorded four sacks in the game (by Goldman, Leonard Floyd, Nick Williams and Aaron Lynch) … The Bears have now lost five straight games to the Eagles … With no takeaways Sunday, the Bears have forced just two turnovers in their last four games after generating nine takeaways in their previous three contests … The Bears are 3-0 with a positive turnover differential this season, 0-4 with a negative ratio and 0-1 when it’s even.