Bears beat Eagles: The good, the bad and the ugly

Bears beat Eagles: The good, the bad and the ugly
August 8, 2014, 10:45 pm
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-- The first-team offense's second drive, capped by a Jay Cutler back-shoulder touchdown pass to Zach Miller. Cutler had a mechanically-shaky first drive, as well as the start to the second drive before settling into a rhythm.

Miller (no, the Bears didn't get THAT one from Seattle, simply a namesake) was the player of the night, catching another scoring pass from Jordan Palmer and showing good footwork and elusiveness after the catch, presumably with Martellus Bennett watching at home. He's proven he can catch the ball in this league. He has to prove he can block. Dante Rosario showed a knack for catching the ball that we didn't see last season.

-- The starting defense did its job, particularly the line (without Jared Allen), creating consistent pressure on Nick Foles and causing enough chaos for the Eagles to be penalized multiple times. No sacks, but Willie Young had a couple of good pressures filling in for Allen (yes, we know he's historically provided pressures but has had trouble finishing). Ryan Mundy had an interception on his first Bears series (paired with Danny McCray in the starting secondary).

[RELATED: TEs Miller, Rosario make early impressions against Eagles]

-- Kyle Fuller wasn't noticeable, which is good. The one time he was beaten by fellow rookie Jordan Matthews, he recovered quickly and slapped the ball from Matthews' grasp. Adrian Wilson delivered a pop to knock a running back backwards, an encouraging flashback and didn't seem to be a detriment, speed-wise after missing all of last season. Undrafted rookie corner Al Louis-Jean made a nice interception (one of three on the night) by stepping in front of a wideout and getting the ball as the Eagles receiver grabbed his jersey.

-- Ego Ferguson was in on a pair of tackles during one early series - recovering enough to line up in time celebrating the first play as the Eagles were in hurry-up mode. The second-rounder did have an Illegal Hands to the Face flag.

-- Finally, Jimmy Clausen will almost certainly get the first call after Cutler's done next week. His first few series showed rust, albeit working with some nervous third- and fourth-string teammates trying to make an impression. Personally, I thought his best play was the one that kept an impressive scoring drive alive early. Blitzed on third-down, he checked down to Senorise Perry for a screen pass and a first down. The sexier 16-yard run sandwiched around 20- and 22-yard passes to Michael Spurlock followed, the latter for a TD to end his night 7 of 13 for 150 yards. He did catch a break on a scoring pass when the officiating crew seemed to see everything else in the game, but not the play clock run out.


-- Special teams. A blocked field goal attempt. Poor punts by both Tress Way and Pat O'Donnell. Michael Ford interfering with a Spurlock catch. An illegal block to erase a decent Spurlock return (or perhaps the reason for it). A return touchdown against. A gunner running out of bounds then being the first to touch the ball when downing it. Nine penalties for 67 yards in the first half to offset a seven-minute advantage in time of possession. Joe DeCamillis won't sleep this week.

-- Reserve lineman Joe Long (at right guard) committed a pair of penalties and allowed a sack. He was part of some real poor protection for Jordan Palmer, who compounded the situation by not making decisions under that pressure quickly enough. He tossed an interception and may have caught a break when a fumble at his own goal line was ruled that his arm was moving forward on a pass attempt. The sideline helped him out with a timeout to avoid a delay of game. He was 5-of-5 for 64 yards on a much-needed touchdown drive and wound up 8-of-11 for 104 yards for the game. But he definitely looked to be a quarterback who's thrown all of 15 passes in four regular season game appearances over five years.

[RELATED: Bears defense comes up big in win over Eagles]

-- Into the third quarter, the Eagles consistently found ways to get the ball into area between the linebackers and safeties, which was a problem all of last season. Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic were particularly exposed on plays like these in the second quarter by tight ends and a long run.

-- Chris Williams' 73-yard touchdown catch from Clausen looked good. Too bad he pulled a hamstring in the process and had to leave the game after that. Who knows what that means for his roster fortunes?

-- As shaky as some of the backup offensive lineman looked (as Kyle Long, Jordan Mills and Eben Britton sat out), this perceived position of strength would take a huge blow if swing backup guard/center Brian De La Puente's left knee injury is serious after being rolled from behind in the second quarter, then limping off under his own power.