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Monday, December 23, 2013
Upon Further Review: Bears Week 16

By Michael C. Wright
ESPN.com

PHILADELPHIA -- An examination of four hot issues from the Chicago Bears' 54-11 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles:

Cutler
Give Cutler a chance: This loss conjured flashbacks of offensive lines featuring players such as Chris Williams, Frank Omiyale and J’Marcus Webb. The Bears gave up a season-high five sacks, and quarterback Jay Cutler also absorbed plenty of shots throughout the night just as he was releasing his passes. Most of the night, Cutler had a defender in his face when trying to throw the ball. Obviously, that can’t happen Sunday in the season finale against the Packers with the NFC North crown at stake. “We lost the line of scrimmage,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “We didn’t do as good a job as obviously we’ve done at protecting Jay. He got hit probably more in this game than he’s been hit at any time during the season.”

Run defense isn’t getting any better: Guess what? It’s not going to get any better. The Bears are what they are against the run: horrible. The Bears have allowed a 100-yard rusher in 10 games, and on Sunday they let two running backs (LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown) hit the century mark. “Any time you cannot stop the run, it’s disappointing,” defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff said. “We did not stop McCoy like we would have liked to, but we have to put this game behind us and move on.”

More offensive line: Speaking of the offensive line, they also failed to open holes for the rushing attack. It’s telling when Trestman says the Bears “couldn’t even start a run” against the Eagles. Matt Forte entered Sunday’s game having run for 100-plus yards in three consecutive games. At one point against the Eagles, Forte had carried five times for 6 yards. “There is no excuse for what happened or what we didn’t do,” Forte said. “Nobody played well on our side. It was just one of those games where everything was going their way and nothing went our way.”

Trestman’s message after the game: It must have been a good, uplifting message because for a team that had just blown the opportunity to wrap up a division championship and a postseason berth, the Bears were remarkably calm after the game. In fact, nobody seemed down at all about what had just transpired. Maybe the Bears just want to forget about this game and move on to the next one as quickly as possible. Maybe moping too much over the loss to the Eagles isn’t conducive to the club’s next objective Sunday against the Packers. “It’s just a game. The same thing happened to [the Eagles] last week,” defensive end Julius Peppers said. “We’ve got a resilient group. We’re gonna be fine. We’re gonna bounce back from this.”