Bears grades vs. Eagles: Defensive line

Bears grades vs. Eagles: Defensive line
December 23, 2013, 1:00 am
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Moon's Week 16 grades

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Bears defensive linemen were controlled virtually all game, pushed out of gaps and being the biggest reason that the Philadelphia Eagles had 106 rushing yards at halftime and 289 for the game.

“We can’t deny the fact that we didn’t stop the run tonight,” said coach Marc Trestman. “We did think we were ascending.”

Shea McClellin and Jeremiah Ratliff combined for a sack of Nick Foles in the second quarter, then had zero pressure on Foles on the resulting third-and-long. Corey Wootton collected a sack two plays later to help get the Bears one of their few first-half stops.

But McClellin was completely handled at points of attack, even by tight end Brent Celek, the same size as McClellin. Julius Peppers was stood up and pushed backwards repeatedly on Philadelphia’s second possession of the second half, when the Eagles scored to make the score 33-3 on a one-yard LeSean McCoy run when Peppers failed to make a tackle with the Eagles’ running back in his arms.

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Linemen failed to squeeze down on running plays and Foles was hurried on only three throws, not surprising considering how the defense could not sell out in pass rush because of the Eagles’ run game. Corey Wootton was the only defensive lineman credited with a tackle for loss.

“It’s just one game,” Peppers said. “We’re going to come back.”

After 15 games, however, the concern is that the Bears defensive line is what the NFL thinks it is.