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Philadelphia at Chicago

Eagles use defense to keep Bears on skids

SportsLine.com wire reports

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Hugh Douglas and the relentless Philadelphia Eagles' defense had trouble digging in Sunday because the Chicago Bears were making them guess.

Included in the Bears' arsenal of surprises was a no-huddle offense and a play that allowed their best receiver, Marty Booker, to throw a pass.

Eagles QB Donovan McNabb is sacked by the Bears' Brian Urlacher.  
Eagles QB Donovan McNabb is sacked by the Bears' Brian Urlacher. (AP) 
But in the second half, the Eagles showed why they have one of the best defenses in the NFL.

Douglas made a late sack on Jim Miller and the Eagles stopped a last second-drive to shut out the Bears in the second half and preserve a 19-13 victory.

"They kept us off-balance for the whole first half. We just had to calm down," Douglas said. "We played two quarters of defensive football. The first two quarters weren't very good, but we came together."

Philadelphia has allowed 13 or fewer points five times this season.

Douglas, who knocked Miller out of a playoff game in January by slamming him to the turf during an interception return, sacked the quarterback on a third down from the Eagles 24 with 17 seconds to go.

Miller, returning after missing two starts with a sore shoulder and elbow, then threw a fourth-down pass to the end zone that was too high for Marcus Robinson as the Bears (2-6) lost their sixth straight.

"The route was designed to go to the back of the end zone. It wasn't a good decision," Miller said.

"The last drive they were getting a couple of chunks here and there. It felt good to just stand up and make four straight plays that didn't let them get in," said Eagles linebacker Ike Reese.

"That second half was just unbelievable for us. Everything they called, we had the right call against it."

Until that final drive it was completely frustrating for the Bears, who managed just 53 yards in the second half -- 32 on the final drive -- after gaining 207 in the first two quarters.

David Akers kicked four second-half field goals when the Eagles (6-2) struggled to find the end zone, but still overcame a 13-7 halftime deficit.

Donovan McNabb ran for 46 yards on nine carries and completed 18 of 33 passes for 209 yards. But Chicago's defense did a better job of pressuring the elusive Eagles quarterback than in a 33-19 playoff loss just more than nine months ago.

Penalties were also a big problem. Chicago was called 12 times for 121 yards, nine against their defense.

"There were questionable calls all day long. It's pathetic," Chicago defensive back R.W. McQuarters said.

Getting the ball with just more than three minutes to go, Miller moved the Bears from the 25 to the Eagles 24 with 14- and 13-yard passes to Stanley Pritchett and Anthony Thomas.

But after two incompletions, Douglas roared through and dropped Miller for a 9-yard loss.

"I don't think anyone touched me," Douglas said.

Akers kicked a go-ahead 27-yarder early in the fourth quarter, four plays after Chicago receiver Dez White fumbled a pitchout and the Eagles recovered at the Bears 18.

Akers hit again from 22 yards with 3:42 left after another Philadelphia drive reached the Bears 5.

Paul Edinger's 53-yard field goal on the final play of the first half just made it over the outstretched hand of Philadelphia's leaping Brian Dawkins and skimmed the upright before going through. It gave the Bears a 13-7 lead.

Chicago went up 10-7 when Miller directed a quick seven-play, 69-yard drive by hitting a 19-yard pass to Booker and a 24-yarder to Dez White. Thomas carried in from the 6 for the score.

Philadelphia moved 73 yards in the second quarter -- 30 coming off three Bears penalties -- and took the lead on McNabb's 5-yard TD run.

Antonio Freeman caught a 28-yard pass and McNabb scrambled for 14 yards to give Philly a first down at the Chicago 5 on the opening series of the second half before settling for Akers' 23-yard field goal.

The Eagles advanced to the Chicago 18 the next time, but again had to settle for Akers' field goal, this one from 36 yards that tied the game at 13.


  • Philadelphia's injuries were to Levon Kirkland (sprained knee), Bobby Taylor (right shoulder contusion) and Freeman (hip contusion). For the Bears. it was Daimon Shelton (ankle sprain).
  • Attendance was 54,049.
  • Fans booed the Bears' offense in the fourth quarter until their final drive.
  • McNabb's TD run was his sixth this season, tying his career high set in 2000. He had 50 family members and friends from the Chicago suburbs at the game.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2002, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
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Scoring Summary
FGPaul Edinger 30 Yd, 9:28. Drive: 11 plays, 66 yards in 5:19.
TDDonovan McNabb, 5 Yd run (David Akers kick is good), 4:42. Drive: 10 plays, 73 yards in 4:46.
TDAnthony Thomas, 6 Yd run (Paul Edinger kick is good), 1:17. Drive: 7 plays, 69 yards in 3:25.
FGPaul Edinger 53 Yd, 0:00. Drive: 5 plays, 42 yards in 0:38.
FGDavid Akers 23 Yd, 10:22. Drive: 10 plays, 54 yards in 4:38.
FGDavid Akers 36 Yd, 5:42. Drive: 7 plays, 19 yards in 3:22.
FGDavid Akers 27 Yd, 13:29. Drive: 4 plays, 9 yards in 1:13.
FGDavid Akers 22 Yd, 3:42. Drive: 5 plays, 64 yards in 2:40.
D. McNabb18/3320901
D. McNabb946114
D. Staley193909
J. Thrash31808
B. Westbrook412010
D. Levens1202
S. Landeta100-3
A. Freeman467028
T. Pinkston263039
C. Lewis32309
D. Staley219015
J. Thrash31907
D. Levens212011
C. Martin1404
F. Mitchell1202
J. Miller19/3620500
M. Booker0/1000
A. Thomas1652110
L. Johnson72207
J. Miller1000
D. White1000
A. Thomas452019
S. Pritchett439015
M. Booker537019
A. Merritt230025
D. White227024
M. Robinson112012
J. Davis1808
Complete Player Stats