Up next: Bears' secondary getting thrashed

While the Cardinals were rolling to a 34-7 lead Sunday at sunny and unseasonably warm Soldier Field, it was eerily similar to the Bears' 45-10 loss to the Bengals in Week 7. The Bears had a too-little, too-late rally to wind up 41-21 losers to Arizona, and they dropped to 4-4, three games behind the Vikings in the NFC North, at the midpoint of the season.

After the first blowout loss, the defenseless Bears could claim it was an aberration, but when it happens twice in three games, it's dangerously close to becoming a trend.

The Bears' only victory in the past four games was over the 1-7 Cleveland Browns. In the other three contests the Bears' secondary has been sliced and diced by Matt Ryan, Carson Palmer and Kurt Warner.

"For this to work, we have to believe it's going to work, and we have to have a sense of urgency, (but) we don't have that right now," said defensive end Alex Brown, who had the Bears' only sack and also forced a fumble. "I don't know what the (heck) is wrong, but we have to change it.

"It's the eighth game of the season, and I know a lot people like to think we're better than 4-4, but (heck), our record is 4-4, so that's where we are. If we want to have any aspirations of going further or making it to the playoffs and stuff like that, then we've got to play a (heck) of a lot better."

Two weeks ago, the Bengals scored on their first seven possessions as wide receiver Chad Ochocinco caught everything thrown his way, piling up 10 receptions, 118 yards and two touchdowns.

The Cardinals scored on their first six possessions Sunday, and their Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald appeared to be wide open whenever they needed a completion. Fitzgerald wound up with nine catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

Arizona reached the end zone on its first four possessions and then settled for field goals on its next two to grab a 34-7 lead before the halfway mark of the third quarter.

That inability to defend the pass doesn't bode well for a team treading water and facing the Eagles, Vikings and Packers in three of four games after a trip Thursday to San Francisco.

In their last two losses, the Bears have allowed Palmer and Warner to throw five touchdown passes each. Palmer put up a passer rating of 146.7; Warner's was 135.9.

Even worse for the Bears, their best cornerback, Charles Tillman, left in the second quarter with a shoulder injury, as did rookie strong safety Al Afalava.

Opposing quarterbacks have an 89.5 passer rating against Chicago. Translation? When the Bears don't rush the passer well, quarterbacks are having their way with the Bears' secondary.

TRENDING: TE Greg Olsen hasn't put up eye-catching numbers in most categories this season, with 27 receptions for 286 yards, but he's already caught six touchdown passes, all in the past six games, including three in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals.

BY THE NUMBERS: In their last two losses, the Bears' defense has been destroyed through the air and on the ground. Sunday they were gouged for 438 total yards, including 320 by halftime. Not only did Kurt Warner throw for five touchdowns and post a passer rating of 135.9, but the NFL's least productive running attack piled up 182 yards on the ground. Two weeks ago, the Bengals gashed the Bears for 448 total yards, including 215 on the ground.

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--- CB Charles Tillman left the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return.

--- SS Al Afalava left Sunday's game in the second quarter with a shoulder stinger and did not return.

--- QB Jay Cutler's 369 passing yards were the seventh most in Bears history and represented the second-biggest game of his career.

--- TE Greg Olsen caught five passes for 71 yards, including TD receptions of 33, 3 and 20 yards.

--- RB Matt Forte had just five carries, the fewest of his NFL career and one less than he had in the blowout loss to the Bengals two weeks earlier. Forte picked up 33 yards on the ground and caught six passes for 74 yards.


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