David Akers kicked four field goals, Donovan McNabb threw for 237 yards and a touchdown, and the Eagles improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1993 with a 19-9 victory over the Bears on Sunday afternoon.
“We had some positive plays. We also had some mistakes we just can’t do,” McNabb said. “The positive thing is we put enough points on the board to win.”
Philadelphia has now won all four of its games by double-digits—and this one could have been more lopsided.
The Eagles outgained the Bears 316-90 through three quarters, allowing Chicago onto their side of the field only once. The Eagles roamed Chicago territory like it was their back yard, but only had McNabb’s 11-yard toss to Owens in the second quarter to show for it.
Akers had field goals from 40, 42, 42 and 51 yards, but also missed from 39 and 45 yards. McNabb was 24-of-38 for 237 yards, but was intercepted in the third quarter, snapping a streak dating back to last season of 161 consecutive passes without a pick.
“We have a lot of room for improvement,” Owens said. “We didn’t exactly play as well as we’d like on the offensive side of the ball. But we weathered the storm.”
Still, it was more than enough to hold off the Bears (1-3).
Though only two weeks have passed, Chicago is a shadow of the team that beat Green Bay at Lambeau Field. Quarterback Rex Grossman (knee) and safety Mike Brown (Achilles’ tendon) are out for the season, and cornerbacks Charles Tillman (knee) and Jerry Azumah (neck) won’t be back for at least another couple of weeks.
Linebacker Brian Urlacher is also ailing, missing his second straight game Sunday with a pulled hamstring.
The Bears signed former Dallas starter Chad Hutchinson after Grossman got hurt, but he’s still trying to digest his encyclopedic playbook. So Chicago put the offense in the hands of journeyman backup Jonathan Quinn, and the rust was clear in his first start in nearly three years.
Though he finished 26-of-43 for 215 yards, he managed only 76 yards passing in the first three quarters.
“I definitely expected to be more accurate,” Quinn said. “I missed some passes I shouldn’t have early on, you know, a little rusty. I put the defense in a spot.”
The one time the Bears did make it into Philadelphia territory in the first three quarters, they couldn’t do much. Bobby Wade’s 13-yard catch put Chicago at the Eagles 7 in the final minute of the first half, but Quinn threw three straight incompletions before Paul Edinger kicked a 25-yard field goal.
“Most people plan on passing on the 2-point conversion, we thought we could get it in on the run,” coach Lovie Smith said.
But the score was too little, too late.
The Eagles took charge of the game right away, scoring on four of their first six possessions for a 16-3 lead at the half. Their only touchdown came midway through the second quarter.
Westbrook rushed for 8 yards, then caught a pass for a 6-yard gain. The Eagles picked up another 11 yards when Bears end Adewale Ogunleye was called for roughing the passer. On the next play, McNabb found Owens for an 11-yard scoring pass.
As Bears fans booed, Owens laid down on the ground and did sit-ups—six for the six points he’d just scored. Or was it for the six touchdowns he has this season?
“You can look at it however you want,” Owens said, smiling. “I was trying to get my workout on a little bit. I really didn’t get too much during my pregame, so I continued it during the game.”
Jones, who came into the game as the NFL’s third-leading rusher, was held to 32 yards on 13 carries. … Philadelphia improved to 5-0 against the Bears since drafting Chicago native McNabb. … The Eagles sacked Quinn four times, improving their season total to 17.