Defense Fails to Produce Game-Changing Plays

JACKSONVILLE, FL _ With their offense stymied as it had been earlier this year under quarterbacks Jonathan Quinn and Craig Krenzel, the Bears could always count on their defense for big plays. <P> Not Sunday, in a 22-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Bears' defense held its own for three quarters but eventually caved in without producing the big pass rush or the game-changing turnover.

"Defensively, I feel like we slowed them down as far as the run was concerned but they were able to get some big pass plays on us," coach Lovie Smith said.

The Bears held Fred Taylor to 79 rushing yards on 21carries and the Jaguars to 90 rushing yards.

However, a 31-yard Byron Leftwich-to-Jimmy Smith touchdown pass sealed the verdict in the fourth quarter. Leftwich, who completed 25-of-45 for 242 yards, also had a 26-yard completion to Reggie Williams. He threw a 33-yard TD pass in the second quarter to tight end Todd Yoder that was nullified by a holding penalty.

"Any time they're able to complete balls it's a combination of both (pass rush and coverage)," Smith said. "We'll look to coverage and say that we could have played them a little tighter at times or maybe be in a different spot.

"But pressure is a big part of that. It starts with four-man pressure for us up front. We weren't able to get the type of pressure we thought we could. And that, of course, really affects what we could do, pass coverage-wise and team-wise."

The Bears were held without a sack for the third time this year.

Defensive end Adewale Ogunleye attributed this to Leftwich taking short pass drops and shorter completions.

"They threw the ball quite a bit, but it was mostly three-step drops," he said. "He was getting the ball out real quick. They were content with 2-yard routes and stuff like that.

"We had some opportunities we didn't capitalize on for the majority of the part. He was just getting the ball out. He wasn't dropping back in seven-step drops today. It was three steps or five steps."

Bears defensive end Alex Brown had hoped for a big game, in part because it was a homecoming of sorts since he played collegiately at Florida.

Reminded he had a nice knockdown of a pass that was nearly a TD-saving interception, Brown said: "That's probably the only thing I did today."

"The frustrating part was not making big plays," Ogunleye said of the loss. "They had a pretty good offense coming in with the run, the wide receiver Jimmy Smith and Leftwich. The hurting part was we just weren't able to make big plays like we had the last couple of games."

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