Bears' D is 'embarrassing' in loss to Eagles

December, 23, 2013
12/23/13
2:07
AM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- As the seconds ticked away during a brutal 54-11 beating Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, Chicago Bears defensive tackle Corey Wootton peered at the scoreboard in disbelief.

“It’s embarrassing, honestly,” he said. “Looking on the sideline, when you see the score at the end of the game and they've put up 54 on you, it’s embarrassing.”

[+] EnlargeZack Bowman
Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty ImagesZack Bowman seemed at a loss after the Bears allowed another of the Eagles' six offensive TDs.
In addition to giving up 21 points in both the first and fourth quarters, the Bears surrendered 514 yards, including 289 on the ground, with LeSean McCoy running for 133 of them. Not only did Chicago allow one 100-yard rusher. Bryce Brown also carved up Chicago for 115 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, right through the middle of the Bears’ defense.

Considering the Bears have allowed at least one 100-yard rusher in 10 games this season, including veritable no-names such as Benny Cunningham and Brown, and another one to an aging Brandon Jacobs, it’s probably safe to assume Chicago’s defense won’t all of the sudden become stout in the finale against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday -- in a game with the NFC North crown and a postseason berth on the line. Traditionally, it’s been the defense that has helped the Bears stay in games. Currently, it’s that unit that could wind up keeping Chicago out of the playoffs.

It’s important to note that losses on Sunday by the Packers and the Detroit Lions meant that the Bears could have clinched the division title by defeating the Eagles. While ineptitude on offense contributed to the loss at Philadelphia, too often this season the defense has been the culprit.

“In the past years, we always stepped up when we needed to regardless of what the offense was doing,” Wootton said. “It just hasn’t been like that. If we want to make the playoffs or we want to make any type of run, we have to get this shored up. We talk about this every week.”

Philadelphia reeled off 10 plays for gains of 16 yards or more, with three of those plays coming on Nick Foles completions. The Eagles converted on 56 percent of their third-down attempts, and scored touchdowns on five trips into the red zone as Foles completed passes and McCoy either outran Bears defenders or outright made them miss.

The seven touchdowns scored by the Eagles were the most the Bears have allowed in franchise history (although one of the TDs was on an interception return). The 54 points rank as the second-most ever allowed by the Bears in franchise history.

“There’s a lot of different reasons we didn’t get this done today,” coach Marc Trestman said. “We’re all at fault. It starts with me. Nobody played well enough to win tonight.”

Trestman, Wootton, linebacker James Anderson and safety Craig Steltz all stressed that the coaching staff adequately prepared the players for what the schemes they’d see from the Eagles. The players simply didn’t execute.

“I do not think it was one special thing we did wrong,” safety Chris Conte said. “We just got our tails kicked today.”

Wootton said the Bears played the Eagles “the way we were supposed to” but “just didn’t make the plays when we needed to.”

Wootton also provided examples.

“If you look at it, they didn’t keep the ball really at all with Foles on the zone-reads. We knew they were gonna give the ball to McCoy,” Wootton said. “The one guy that was supposed to stay outside for contain would be there, then he’d miss the tackle. Or the guy wasn’t there when he was supposed to be. It was just stuff like that. But that can really gut you. That’s what they want to exploit on you. They want to make the one-on-one play and try to make you miss.”

The Eagles did that all night, with the rushing of McCoy and Brown and with Foles passing over the top of the Bears. Foles finished with a passer rating of 131.7, and although Chicago sacked him twice, the quarterback seemed to have plenty of time to find open receivers and deliver the ball.

“They just came out and brought it to us,” defensive end Julius Peppers said.

The Packers are capable of doing the same, even with hobbled running back Eddie Lacy -- who rushed for 150 yards against the Bears on Nov. 4 -- and Aaron Rodgers likely out. It’s not that Green Bay’s offense is as potent as Philadelphia’s. Chicago’s defense just appears to be that bad, with no real signs of improving.

“We certainly couldn’t stop the run,” Trestman said. “We’ve got to address is factually. We can’t deny the fact that we didn’t stop the run tonight. We’ve got to make sure they know why, and we’ve got to do what we can to get back to where we were previously the last couple of weeks when we really did feel we were ascending. We were getting better. You’re not where you ever want to be, but certainly [we were at] a place where we could be in a competitive environment, and get the ball back to the offense. There’s no one side of the ball that lost this one.”

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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