Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Stock Watch: Sorting through the mess
By Jeff Dickerson
Jay Cutler probably had the right idea when he said after the game that he had already put the Bears' 54-11 loss to the Eagles out of his mind.
1. Robbie Gould, K: Gould kicked a 50-yard field goal. That's all I got.
1. Entire offense: The Bears had no excuse for their lackluster performance on offense. The Eagles' defense ranked No. 30 overall and No. 31 against the pass through 14 games, but they looked like the 1985 Bears on Sunday night. To recap, the Bears abandoned the run game (61 rushing yards), completed just 22-of-39 pass attempts, and failed to protect the quarterback in the pocket (five sacks). That is about as lousy of an all-around effort as we've seen from the Bears' offense under coach Marc Trestman. Burn the tape, please.
2. Entire defense: Same old story. The Bears have a tough time keeping average offenses in-check, much less the high-powered Eagles. The Bears actually allowed two Philadelphia running backs to rush for nore than 100 yards. For the game, the Eagles had 289 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, while Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles picked the Bears apart, completing 21-of-25 passes. The Bears have no answers on defense and will continue to struggle until the entire group is overhauled in the offseason. This will be the most anticipated construction project since the Wrigley Field renovations. Hopefully without the delays.
3. Devin Hester, KR/PR: Hester's first-quarter fumble on a kickoff return forever swung the momentum in Philadelphia's favor. To call the miscue ill-timed would be an understatement. Hester began the season on a positive note with impactful games against the Minnesota Vikings (249 kickoff return yards) and the Washington Redskins (81-yard punt return touchdown), but he's been kind of quiet down the home stretch of the season. Statistically speaking, Hester is enjoying a relatively productive 2013 season. Going into Week 16, Hester averaged 28.6 yards per kickoff return and 12.2 yards on punt return, a significant jump from last season. But Hester, making $2.1 million in the final year of his contract, is a home-run hitter on special teams. The Bears need him to knock a couple out of the park before the season ends.