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Defense Bears Down in Time for Eagles

November 04, 2002|From Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — 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.

But in the second half, the Eagles showed why they have one of the best defenses in the NFL.

Hugh 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 given up 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 play from the Eagle 24 with 17 seconds to go.

Miller, returning after missing two starts because of a sore shoulder and elbow, then threw a fourth-down pass 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," Eagle linebacker Ike Reese said.

The second half was completely frustrating for the Bears, who managed 53 total yards -- 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 in nine carries and completed 18 of 33 passes for 209 yards.

Penalties were also a big problem. Chicago was called 12 times for 121 yards, nine against its defense. "There were questionable calls all day long. It's pathetic," defensive back R.W. McQuarters said.

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