- The Bears came out in 11 personnel. The Eagles played them a straight up 4-3 with 7 in the box.
- It didn’t take long for the Bears to give up a sack. Logan Paulsen was left one-on-one with Malcom Jenkins on a blitz and Jenkins ran by him like a traffic cone. Paulson didn’t even see him until he was five steps into the backfield. The Bears had their share of trouble protecting Cutler even before this game got out of hand. He saw a lot of pressure in his face and, at least early, unlike last week, it wasn’t usually because he was holding the ball too long. The line struggled.
- They also struggled to run the ball. Eagles players were shedding blocks to get to Jeremy Langford before he could gain much yardage. People will say that Langford needs to start gaining some yards on his own and he should. But he generally didn’t have much chance tonight.
- Bears have reportedly been working on screen pass. My advice is that they work hard on it. [head shake] Man.
- Interesting to see a Paul Lasike sighting. Logan Paulsen’s poor night at tight end may have had something to do with that. If Lasike can do more than block the full back brings an interesting aspect to the offense.
- I think the Bears may have simplified things for Kevin White this week. He seems to have been playing faster and maybe thinking less. Giving him the ball on a sweep around end was also a good way to use his athleticism without making things too complicated.
- Eddie Royal is performing the way I think we all thought he would last year. He seems healthy and when that’s the case, he’s the second best receiver on the team by far.
- I’d like to say that Brian Hoyer actually put played Cutler in the fourth quarter after Cutler left the game. But the Eagles had a big lead and he was working against soft coverage. So I think we’ll all have to with hold judgment.
- The Bears came out playing man coverage but they were playing extremely soft in coverage. Quarterback Carson Wentz took advantage, throwing underneath of pretty good yardage. It seems evident that they wanted to take advantage of the Bears defensive backs. They threw the ball only once in their first 7 plays by my count and ran only twice on their first drive.
- It certainly looks dot me like the Eagles doubt about the ability of the Bears defensive backs to stay with their receiver was well founded. Jacoby Glenn and Bryce Callahan both struggled to stay with receivers deep and were frequently beaten even on passes that weren’t complete.
- The ball was coming out quick and pass rushers had very little chance to get to Wentz. Nevertheless even when given the opportunity they struggled to get pressure on Wentz unless they were blitzing, especially in the first half. Interestingly they threw some line stunts at the Eagles and these seemed to have some positive effect.
- To Wentz’s credit, he seems to handle the blitz better than the veteran Jay Cutler, who has struggled to spot late blitzers all preseason and into the season.
- Wentz looks like everything he’s cracked up to be. He has good arm strength and reasonable accuracy. But what sticks out to me is how smart he plays for a rookie. Only four rookie quarterbacks since 1970 have won their first two starts to begin a season. Three of those four players helped their teams qualify for the playoffs, including Joe Flacco of Baltimore (2008) and Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets (2009), who led their respective clubs to the AFC Championship Game as rookies. Philly fans must be walking on sunshine right now.
- One problem I have with Wentz – he cries to the referees more than even Tom Brady does. Give us all a break, young man.
- Give the Bears defense credit. They struggled to stop the pass but they did a decent job against the run allowing only 3.1 yards per carry.
- Really like how fast those Bears inside linebackers play, especially Jerrell Freeman. After a miserable year last year its nice to see some good linebacker play in Chicago again. Generally speaking the defense does play hard.
- The Eagles were 3 for 3 on fourth down. You’d like to see the bears stiffen a little more on those plays.
- Connor Barth missed a 31 yard field goal late in the first quarter. This really hurt a young team who needed some points early after a decent drive. John Fox and Ryan Pace staked a lot on their personal knowledge of Barth when releasing Robbie Gould despite a spotty history. Kicks like that aren’t going to make people in Chicago anymore inclined to trust their words over his actions, past and present. That Eddie Royal punt return for a touchdown may have been the best return I’ve ever seen from a Bear. The little leap at the beginning to avoid the initial tackler was nifty. It was a pleasure to watch. On the other side, the Eagles can’t be happy to allow such a return with a big lead. Big plays like that are the one single thing you don’t want to allow to happen in that situation.
- The Bears had 7 penalties for 60 yards. that’s just too much. They need to clean that up.
- The Bears lost the turnover battle with three to the Eagles zero.
- The first Jay Cutler fumble was inexcusable. That kind of poor ball security by a veteran quarterback on the run is deplorable. The lineman didn’t really even have to knock the ball out of his arms.
- The interception in the third quarter deep in Bear territory was almost as bad and was far more costly. The game was still winnable at this point. But this was a back breaker. Of course, if that didn’t put things out of hand, the Langford fumble in the fourth quarter did.
- It’s mighty tough to win a football game when you are giving the ball away like the Bears did Monday night. It also a lot tougher for a young team to lose, not because of rookie mistakes, but because the veterans let them down. Watching Jay Cutler start the season like this, particularly the way he turned the ball over in this game, its hard not to wonder if the Bears haven’t been irreparably damaged by the loss of former offensive coordinator Adam Gase. In any case, that ship has sailed. There was some good play by some of the Bears tonight. Enough to give me some hope. But it’s apparent that the Bears have a lot to clean up before they can put it all together to win some football games.