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Trestman confident Bears will rebound in decisive showdown

The SportsXchange

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman wanted to use Sunday's 54-11 rout at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles as a rallying point for what will essentially be a playoff game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

The devastation seemed to require much more than a teaching point and a week of cleanup work.

"As I told our guys, we played a team today that got 48 scored on them last week and we see the team that was able to show up (this) week," Trestman said, referring to the Eagles' 48-30 loss to Minnesota the previous game.

By getting doubled in yardage, 514 to 257, allowing 21 first-quarter points and committing two key special teams snafus early against a team playing with nothing to gain, the Bears looked from the start like they didn't realize a victory meant a division title.

"These guys, they've bounced back before," Trestman said. "We've had games we haven't won where we felt like we really needed to go back to the drawing board and re-group and guys have always done that and I feel like they'll do that again."

They only served to cast doubt on whether they can do a complete reversal in time to beat their oldest rival.

"We will throw this tape in the trash can," Trestman said. "Coaches will evaluate it and make sure that we clean up the things that we can clean up for next week."

Looking at the film or throwing it in the trash can seems irrelevant when the defense gave up 40-plus points for the fourth time after allowing 40 or more only four times the entire previous nine years under former coach Lovie Smith. The run defense is in such a sorry state that the only way the Bears seem capable of staying in games is if the offense explodes. When quarterback Jay Cutler tried to light that fuse Sunday, it was a dud.

Even getting linebacker Lance Briggs back from injury for the game did little.

"It was good having him back," defensive end Julius Peppers said. "It was good having him on the field. The final score might not show it but it was a big boost having him out there."

The Bears already had the league's worst run defense and had braced for the 289 rushing yards they allowed.

The really discouraging aspect from the defensive standpoint was how Eagles quarterback Nick Foles picked receivers at will. He completed passes like they were handoffs, going 21-for-25 with three passes intentionally thrown away to avoid sacks.

"There were no breakdowns but there was a lot of play-action going on and you have to key on the run and then watch for the pass," cornerback Tim Jennings said of the pass coverage. "You have to expect the run and that they are going to possibly throw behind you and it can be tough.

"We knew it was coming because we saw it on the film and we just need to do a better job stopping the run and make them more one dimensional."

Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker was far more blunt in his evaluation.

"I think we counted at least 20 missed tackles in the game, which is way, way too many," he said after film review Monday. "You're playing a good offense. They're going to have you spread out and get the ball to people in space and you've got to get a tackle. We didn't do that.

"We had some very, very poor reads on some basic run plays and it really took us out of some plays that we thought that we would be able to make, so those things along with pad level and shedding and things like that, where we thought maybe a week ago we were improving, we didn't see that type of improvement.

"Last night, we actually thought we took a step back."

Tucker didn't completely rejected the notion that players could be benched over the Philadelphia fiasco.

"We play a lot of players, we really do," he said. "I think pretty much everyone who was active last night played for us, so we tell them we're going to need everyone to play better. You never want to overreact, but as we sit down and formulate the game plan for this week and decide what we want to do and how we want to do it, we always talk about who and what the roles will be and the rotation and then we'll go from there."

He did say playing time could change if some players are not benched.

"Nothing is ever set in stone," he said.

Cutler got sacked five times and the running game never materialized. Cutler didn't want to blame the offensive line as much as the difficult situation they found themselves in, trailing 21-0 early.

"I don't think we'll study this one much," he said. "There's not much to study. We got beat down. It was a different type of game. We were playing a little bit of street ball there just trying to crawl back into it. Pass, pass, pass. Two-minute situations in the middle of the third quarter. It's unrealistic.

"So to really go back and study it is going to be a waste of our time."

Rallying point, or waste of time, the Bears have to find a way to return to the form shown in beating Cleveland or plan to clean out the locker room the following Monday.

--Cutler eventually was pulled from Sunday's game, but it had nothing to do with the level of his play.

He probably would have been out earlier just to avoid injury with the Packers game coming up, but had been only back one game since a month-long absence and Trestman wanted him to get in more work.

"That was part of it just to get another series and give the guys a chance to at least take one more shot at it, and we didn't get it done," Trestman said. "At that point in time, we started taking guys out just for that reason, to make sure nothing unusual would happen in the rest of the game knowing what we had coming up on Sunday."
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