They improved to 8-3 and are currently ahead of the 7-4 Packers by one game in the NFC North.
Jay Cutler played arguably his best game as a Chicago Bear. He completed 14 of 21 passes for 247 yards, four touchdowns and most importantly no interceptions. His QB rating was 146.2, the highest of his career. Good Jay showed up against the Eagles.
The offensive line allowed him to get sacked four times in the first half, but after that they protected him pretty well and that allowed him to make some big plays.
Wide receivers Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett and Devin Hester all had big catches in this game. They all had lots of yards after the catch. They seem to be thriving in the Mike Martz system.
Speaking of big catches, TE Greg Olsen caught his fifth receiving touchdown when he took the ball away from an Eagles defender in the end zone.
The running game set up all these big plays. Matt Forte ran the ball 14 times for 117 yards. He had runs of 61 and 28 which helped the Bears offense out tremendously. This breakout game by Forte helped open up the passing game for the Bears.
They seemed to have a perfect mix of run and pass in this game and if the offense keeps clicking like this they will be hard to beat.
The most steady part of the team is the defense and they contained Michael Vick. Vick had most of his passing yards in the second half. They didn’t let the Eagles make the “big play” and that allowed them to contain Vick. The Eagles converted only 4 of their 13 third down conversions.
The defensive line consistently brought pressure. Julius Peppers had a sack and a forced fumble. Matt Toeaina had a sack. Anthony Adams had a sack and a forced fumble. Israel Idonije and Henry Melton both recorded a half of a sack.
This defense was startling Vick with four man pressure. Most importantly if Vick actually got past the line, the linebackers were ready to wrap him up. Brian Urlacher had nine tackles and Lance Briggs added five. Safety Major Wright had four tackles and played his most snaps all season long.
The most critical moment in the game came with two minutes in the second quarter when the Eagles were trailing 14-13 and looking to score. DT Tommie Harris got his hands up and tipped a Michael Vick pass into the hands of safety Chris Harris who returned the ball to the Bears 35 yard line.
Then off that interception the Bears took the ball down the field and scored with 38 seconds left before the half.
Bears fans have been all over Tommie Harris since he basically disappeared from the stat sheet a couple of seasons ago. I have always liked the guy, but I understand the hatred towards him. Fans have to love Harris a little more after Sunday’s performance against the Eagles.
Without that tip by Harris, safety Chris Harris would have never picked that ball and the Bears wouldn’t have gained the momentum they needed to get back in the game.
My hats off to both Harris’s on the play, but Tommie Harris stepped up and showed why he is still a good player. Plays like that are expected by the Bears defense and Tommie Harris. So it was good to see him make a big play.
Special teams is the third phase head coach Lovie Smith talks about and they played pretty well. Danieal Manning and Devin Hester split time on kick returns and both consistently set up the Bears offense with great field position.
With all three phases clicking, offense, defense and special teams this team will be very hard to beat. This was the biggest win all season for the Bears and it proves that this team does have what it takes to win it all, um Pat Kirwan doesn’t think so.
Four straight wins, a one game lead in the NFC North all feels good, but they still have four very tough games left on their schedule. They better not take the Lions for granted this Sunday either. They need to keep playing at the level they have been playing at in their four latest wins.