Tough Loss

The Bears played their best half of football in weeks, as they took a 13-7 lead into the lockerroom against the Philadelphia Eagles, but it all went wrong in the game's final 30 minutes.

There were several questionable calls that went against the Bears, but the offense couldn't move the ball in the second half and the result was the team's sixth straight loss dropping a 19-13 decision to the Eagles.

The offense gained nine yards on the opening five possessions of the second half. A last minute effort fell short as Jim Miller was sacked setting up fourth and 18 from the Eagles 34. On the following play a desperation pass to Marcus Robinson fell helplessly out of bounds.

The defense gave the team a chance to win, but four field goals by David Akers was enough to pull ahead and win the game.

Following a scoreless first quarter the Bears offense went to work against the NFL's second ranked defense. Anthony Thomas had 42 (22 rush 20 receiving) total yards in leading to a Paul Edinger 30-yard field goal, which put the Bears up 3-0.

The Eagles answered on the ensuing drive. Three defensive penalties, totaling 30 yards, aided Philadelphia on their drive. The visitors went ahead on a five-yard scramble by Donovan McNabb. His sixth rushing touchdown of the year made the score 7-3 with less than five minutes to go in the half.

Thomas continued a productive half by adding 26 more rushing yards on five carries including a six-yard touchdown run that capped a seven-play drive, which reclaimed the lead for Chicago.

The Eagles went into a two-minute offense and moved inside Bears territory on a 23-yard catch by Antonio Freeman. Coming out of a timeout McNabb was pressured by Brian Urlacher and the QB threw the ball up hoping to connect with an Eagles receiver, but the floating ball was scooped up by Mike Brown. A personal foul on Bryan Robinson, which was the third such penalty called against the Bears in the half, lengthened the field.

Miller took over with a full compliment of timeouts and turned a third straight drive into points. A 25-yard catch by Ahmad Merritt brought Edinger on for his second field goal of the game. A 53-yard attempt hit the crossbar and bounced over to the end the half at 13-7.

It looked like the Bears day as all the bounces went their way in the game's opening 30 minutes.

However, a short kickoff by Edinger gave Philadelphia the ball at their forty to start the third quarter. McNabb hooked up with Freeman for a 28-yard reception. A 13-yard scramble by McNabb gave the Eagles first and goal, but the defense stopped the Eagles from putting a touchdown on the board. David Akers hit his first of four field goals.

A three and out by the Bears, followed by a poor punt by Brad Maynard gave Philadelphia the ball in Bears territory. The drive ended with another Akers field goal that tied the game.

Early in the fourth quarter Dez White lined up in the backfield and Miller pitched the ball to the receiver. Looking up field White never caught the ball and Philadelphia recovered fumbled exchange inside the redzone.

To their credit the defense held the Eagles to another field goal, but Akers 27-yard attempt gave the Eagles a 16-13 lead.

Another Bears drive without a first down was magnified by a 21-yard punt return by Brian Mitchell that put the ball near midfield. Despite being in field goal range and leading by three, Eagles head coach Andy Reid decided to go for it on 4th and one, but RB Duce Staley was stopped short.

A pass from Miller to Thomas for 13-yards was the second first down of the half and first not by penalty. Miller then missed threw three bad passes in a row to kill the drive including going behind an open Marty Booker that would have put the ball in Eagle territory.

R.W. McQuarters' second pass interference penalty of the game moved the ball forward 16 yards. On the next play McNabb hit Todd Pinkston for 39 yards. With first down at the 14-yard line the Eagles failed to put the game out of reach with touchdown and had to settle for a fourth Akers field goal.

With three timeouts and 3:37 left in the game the Bears took the ball at their 25. By the two-minute warning the offense moved into the Eagle territory, but the team stalled from there. When Hugh Douglas broke through the line untouched and brought down Miller it left an impossible 4th and 18 situation. Miller's 4th down attempt to Marcus Robinson fell helplessly out of bounds.

At this point in the season the only team with a worse record than the 2-6 Bears are the 1-7 Bengals.


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