Observations: Eagles Vs. Bears
CHICAGO – Here’s what we saw during tonight’s Eagles-Bears game (updated into the fourth quarter).
* The Eagles’ starting offense got on the field for three drives in the first quarter and looked shaky – producing a pair of turnovers and a punt. On their first series, Nick Foles was intercepted by safety Ryan Mundy. On an earlier play, Allen Barbre and Jason Kelce appeared to give up pressure as Foles stepped up and threw incomplete. And an Evan Mathis holding call negated a Foles completion to Brent Celek.
* On the second drive, Jeremy Maclin was called for a 15-yard face-mask penalty. Mathis was called for a second holding penalty. And Jason Peters was also called for a hold.
* And on the third drive, Foles threw into traffic and was picked off by Sherrick McManis. He was looking for Zach Ertz on the play.
* The Eagles started the game in 12 personnel with Ifeanyi Momah and Jeremy Maclin as the receivers. Momah was starting in place of Riley Cooper. Foles hit him on a 12-yard gain off play-action on the first play of the game. The Bears used a timeout after the Eagles’ second offensive play from scrimmage.
* Josh Huff was the Eagles’ return man. He brought one back 102 yards for a touchdown late in the first half. The only Bears player who had a shot at Huff was the kicker, but the rookie switched the football to his left arm and delivered a nice stiff-arm. From there, he raced down the left sideline to the end zone and was mobbed by his teammates.
* Darren Sproles replaced McCoy on the third drive. He had a nice 9-yard run to the right side. The one bright spot for Foles was a tight-window throw for 15 yards to Maclin. Foles finished 6-for-9 for 44 yards and a pair of turnovers.
* The second-team offense got the Eagles going. Mark Sanchez threw a beautiful ball down the seam to Ertz for a 34-yard completion in the second. The pair connected again on an 18-yard gain, and Matthew Tucker found the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown.
* Tucker later had a 24-yard run around the left side. Huff made a nice grab on a slant in traffic in the red zone. And Tucker finished the drive with his second score. He had eight carries for 40 yards and fumbled in the second half. He also suffered a hamstring injury.
* Sanchez was 7-for-10 for 79 yards in the second quarter. Of his three incompletions, two were catchable (one to Huff, one to Jordan Matthews), and a third was a Hail Mary attempt.
* Matthews did not have a memorable debut: four catches for 14 yards and a pair of drops. He also couldn’t come down with a contested catch in the second quarter.
* Matt Barkley found RB David Fluellen on a screen pass for a TD in the third. Fluellen broke a tackle, spun around and extended the ball across the goal line.
* Barkley finished 7-for-16 for 73 yards, a touchdown and an interception. There appeared to be some kind of miscommunication with Huff on the pick.
* The starting defense got a couple of drives. The first was a success; the second was not. Backed up in their own territory, the Eagles forced a three-and-out after Foles’ first interception. Malcolm Jenkins was credited with a tackle for loss. Mychal Kendricks had a nice tackle on a shallow crosser to Brandon Marshall. Kendricks and Cary Williams had good coverage on a third-down incompletion.
* But on the second drive, Eagles starters gave up a 13-play, 69-yard drive that resulted in a Jay Cutler touchdownto tight end Zach Miller. Cutler threw a beautiful ball that whizzed past DeMeco Ryans and got there before Nate Allen could close. On the drive, Bradley Fletcher gave up a 13-yard completion on third down. Cutler also completed a ball for 23 yards in between Ryans and Jenkins. Williams appeared to have talked the official out of a pass interference call, but still gave up a 16-yard completion.
* Bright spots? Connor Barwin had a tackle for loss on the second drive. Williams had a pass break-up in man coverage. And Jenkins delivered a couple big hits. Cedric Thornton batted a pass at the line of scrimmage.
* The second-team defense played well for the most part. Vinny Curry notched a sack on a play where Brandon Graham also got some pressure. Later, Graham crushed Jordan Palmer as he threw an interception to Nate Allen.
* On another drive, Beau Allen showed tremendous strength, walking the center back into Palmer and nearly forcing a fumble. Curry also got pressure on the play.
* If you’re wondering about personnel on the second team, the defensive line was Curry, Allen and Brandon Bair. The outside linebackers were Marcus Smith II and Graham. The inside backers were Emmanuel Acho and Najee Goode. The corners were Roc Carmichael and Brandon Boykin. The safeties were Allen and Earl Wolff.
* Smith flashed a couple times, batting a pass near the line of scrimmage and making a nice tackle in space on a completion to the flat.
* Backup inside linebacker Jason Phillips gave up a 12-yard touchdown on a jump-ball in the second. Roc Carmichael was also beaten for a 24-yard completion on the drive.
* Jaylen Watkins had a rough second half, getting beaten on a 73-yard touchdown down the right sideline. But he did bounce back with an interception.
* Casey Matthews suffered a lower back injury in the second half.