Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bears maul Eagles

Bears 31, Eagles 26

Bears maul Eagles

Michael Vick was sacked four times by the Chicago Bears´ defense. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Michael Vick was sacked four times by the Chicago Bears' defense. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

CHICAGO -- For those who believe in worrisome parts of football schedules, and trap games, and the pendulum of emotion that is the result of those forces, the Eagles' game against the Chicago Bears was proof positive. It looked like a bad spot coming into the game and it was: Bears 31, Eagles 26.

Everbody knew the deal. The Eagles had just played three emotional games in succession, including two within the NFC East, and won them all.  They are in the middle of an odd stretch: Monday night, Sunday night, Sunday afternoon, then Thursday night upcoming against Houston. This looked like trouble all along. And it was.

For the people who calmed their concerns with this mantra -- "But it's Jay Cutler playing for the Bears" -- it turned out that Cutler played about as well as people around here have seen him play. He did it against an Eagles defense that was missing injured cornerback Asante Samuel, and it really showed. Anybody who can doubt Samuel's value to this defense should be forced to watch a tape of this one on a continuous loop. Without Samuel, both sides of the field were suddenly open for attack, and Cutler did just fine, thanks: 14 for 21 for 247 yards and 4 touchdowns.

On the other side of the ball, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was beaten up for the second consecutive week, and there were long stretches where he looked pretty ordinary under the Chicago assault. On a day when very few Eagles people played well, Vick was still good (but no better than that). He missed some throws, he seemed very reluctant to throw the ball at other times, and at least twice, he was chased down from behind by Chicago defense end Julius Peppers on scrambles out of the pocket.

More coverage
Photos: Bears 31, Eagles 26
Eagletarian: Paul Domowitch's Eagles-Bears report card
Have your say: Grade the Eagles' loss to the Bears
Game stats
MTC: Eagles could catch break vs. Texans
Ashley Fox: Vick likely to get franchise tag

For the day, Vick's numbers -- which were kind of padded in the fourth quarter when the Bears were thrilled to see him throwing underneath while trailing by two scores -- wen like this: 29 for 44 for 333 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

The game turned radically right before the end of the first half. The Eagles were on the Bears' 4-yard line, trailing by 14-13, when Vick's pass into the end zone, intended for Jeremy Maclin, was tipped in the backfield by Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris, intercepted by safety Chris Harris, and returned to the Bears' 37 yard line. Six plays later, the Bears scored on a 6-yard pass from Cutler to wide receiver Earl Bennett.

What could have been a 20-14 Eagles lead was instead a 21-13 deficit. And when the Bears took the opening kickoff and Devin Hester returned it 46 yards...and then Hester got 34 more yards on a catch-and-run play...and then Cutler hit tight end Greg Olsen with a 9-yard touchdown over the outstretched hands of cornerback Dmitri Patterson, the rout was on.

To their credit, the Eagles did hang in. Again, playing against a team willing to trade yards for time, they moved the ball and, with 1:48 to go, a touchdown pass to tight end Brent Celek, caught in the midst of a crowd, brought the Eagles back to 31-26. It was kind of deceiving, though. And when the ensuing onsides kick failed, it was all over but the pushing and shoving that continued until the end.


Daily News Executive Sports Editor
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at Reach Rich at

Rich Hofmann Daily News Executive Sports Editor
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter