Assigning significance or even much meaning to a first preseason game is sometimes a stretch. But too many positives were there in the Bears’ 34-28 win over the Philadelphia Eagles to dismiss completely.
The Bears scored three times what they did the last time they saw the Eagles, which was the 54-11 pasting in Week 16 last year that helped cost them a playoff berth. And they cut their points-allowed roughly in half, besides forcing four turnovers compared to the one they had in Philadelphia last year.
That the bulk of the work was done with reserves shouldn’t be scoffed at, particularly because quality depth is always a concern. If nothing else Friday’s showing suggests that the Bears’ backups are better than at least the NFC East champion Eagles’. Of the 11 defensive starters, only Lance Briggs and Jeremiah Ratliff started Friday where they were last December.
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Comparing some apples to apples: Last December the Bears had 26 net yards in the first quarter to Philadelphia’s 154. The Bears had zero points to Philadelphia’s 21.
In Friday’s first quarter the Bears had 92 yards and seven points to Philadelphia’s 55 and zero. Last December quarterback Nick Foles had passed for two touchdowns in the first quarter; by the end of Friday’s first quarter, the Bears had intercepted him twice, which is as much as the entire NFL did to him all last season.
“I felt the whole defense was solid,” said safety Adrian Wilson. “We did all the things we’ve been doing in practice.”