Tougher tests to come for Wentz, high-flying Eagles
CHICAGO (AP) Carson Wentz took some hard hits, showed poise in the pocket and led the Philadelphia Eagles to another victory.
They're about to find out how they stack up against a playoff contender. But they're doing just fine so far.
Wentz followed up an impressive NFL debut with another solid performance, throwing for 190 yards and a touchdown, and the Eagles beat the Chicago Bears 29-14 on Monday night.
''It was a cool stage, Monday Night Football,'' Wentz said. ''Everything's sweet. But again, it was a football game and we came out with a win.''
The No. 2 overall pick, Wentz is delivering as advertised so far for the Eagles (2-0).
He followed up a strong performance against Cleveland by completing 21 of 34 passes and playing turnover-free ball for the second straight game.
But it's one thing to do it against the rebuilding Browns and Bears. The schedule gets a little tougher next week when the Eagles host the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Bears, meanwhile, are in danger of seeing their season slip away. Not only did they follow up a season-opening loss at Houston with a dismal performance, they lost quarterback Jay Cutler to a right thumb injury.
With that in mind, here are some takeaways from the game.
The Eagles aren't getting much from their run game, but their defense sure is chipping in.
After holding Cleveland to 10 points, that group gave up only one of Chicago's two touchdowns.
''They're playing well together as a team,'' coach Doug Pederson said. ''The communication is great. The defensive line is rolling off the ball, getting pressure, making the (opposing) quarterback move off one spot, having to relocate his feet, putting the quarterback in different throwing positions.
''Then the back end is doing a really nice job in coverage. They're just playing together as a unit.''
The Bears lost the game and they lost their quarterback. If Cutler is not available, Brian Hoyer figures to start at Dallas next week.
Cutler was seen having his right hand examined on the sideline early in the third following a strip-sack by Destiny Vaeao, though he said it happened sometime earlier in the game. That play just aggravated it.
As if the injury wasn't enough, he also got an earful from injured linebacker Pernell McPhee after an interception late in the third quarter. The two had words after a pass got picked off by Philadelphia's Nigel Bradham. Cutler walked to the locker room and did not return.
NO GROUND GAINS
The Bears are being hurt offensively by the lack of a running game, whether it's because of poor blocking with a line that has just come together or a lack of execution.
Their running backs had just 55 yards on 17 carries after going for 61 on 18 attempts in a season-opening loss at Houston.
''I mean, nothing has gotten going like we planned to,'' Cutler said. ''That falls on me. That falls on the rest of the offense. So we've got to take a look at it and whatever is bothering us on offense we've got to get it fixed.''
TAKE IT AWAY
The Eagles won the turnover battle 3-0, including two fumble recoveries. Bradham helped seal the win with his interception and return to the Chicago 2 right after Philadelphia scored.
But another big one came on the strip-sack by undrafted free agent Destiny Vaeao that teammate Connor Barwin said ''turned the game.'' The takeaway came with the Bears on the Philadelphia 43.
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE?
As bad as the Bears have looked so far, things could be worse. Just ask Fox.
''Well, not as tough as last year because we were 0-3,'' he said.
The Bears dropped home games to Green Bay and Arizona and got shut out at Seattle before beating Oakland at home. That was their lone victory at Soldier Field last season.
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