Dallas scored on its first four possession and jumped out to a 24-3 halftime lead en route to a 31-17 beatdown of the Chicago Bears Sunday night in Arlington, Texas. With the loss, the Bears remain winless at 0-3 while the Cowboys improve to 2-1.
The game was reminiscent of Monday’s debacle at Soldier Field from the Bears perspective. Rookie QB Zak Prescott picked up where Eagles rookie QB left off, shredding an outmanned Chicago attack unit with precision passing and key third down conversions. Prescott threw for 248 yards and a touchdown. He was buoyed by a strong rushing performance by fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott, who ran through and over Bears defenders to the tune of 140 yards.
Faced with an 0-2 start and with a long list of injured players, the Chicago Bears travel to Dallas for a Sunday night date with the unpredictable Cowboys. Against mounting odds, the Bears are forced to look to backups to stand-in and make big contributions to prevent a 0-3 start to the season.
Journeyman Brian Hoyer appears poised to take the reins of a struggling Chicago offense, replaced the injured Jay Cutler. Though Cutler did travel to Dallas, it’s likely to be in a support/advisory role. Hoyer, while battle-tested, has a history of turning the ball over and lacks the playmaking skills of Cutler to turn broken plays into positives. He does possess leadership skills and a veteran presence that could benefit a unit that needs Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains to commit to the running game.
Three Chicago turnovers contributed to a 20 point Philadelphia second-half blitz as the Bears home-field woes continued in a 29-14 setback to the Eagles Monday night at Soldier Field. The Bears have now dropped 14 of their last 17 contests on the lakefront and find themselves buried at the bottom of the NFC North at 0-2.
Bears head coach John Fox tried to paint a happy face afterward: “It’s two games and we have 14 games left. Right now all our focus very quickly will go to Dallas to go on the road Sunday night.”
As disheartening as the loss was, the sub-plot is the attrition the Bears roster nowfaces. QB Jay Cutler left late in the third quarter with an apparent thumb injury that was in a cast following the game and awaiting further tests. Cutler’s night was punctuated with another multi-turnover game, a costly fumble on a strip as he tried to elude pressure and a underthrown ball that resulted in an interception. He finished 12-of-17 for 157 yards. Veteran backup Brian Hoyer relieved Cutler and appears poised to make the start in Dallas next Sunday night.