by Carlos Nazario
The Chicago Bears went into hostile territory in Philadelphia on Monday night, took a few blows, but came out with a 30-24 victory against the Eagles.
Matt Forte again led the way with 150 yards from scrimmage (133 rushing), but this time he had help. Earl Bennett, coming back from a chest injury suffered in Week 2, caught 5 passes for 95 yards and had a touchdown. He took some of the pressure off of Forte, who also had 2 fumbles lost.
Coming into the game, the Bears receivers kept hearing about the great playmaking skills of the Eagles receivers.
The Bears offensive line had an enormous game. The much maligned line kept Cutler upright, allowing no sacks on him for only the 2nd time in Cutler’s time in Chicago. The only other time he went a game without getting sacked was November 12, 2009 against San Francisco.
“It starts up front,” said Cutler. When the line keeps me clean and I’ve got a good pocket and I can see what’s happening downfield, we’ll probably have a good day. As the game progressed, that started happening.”
Cutler went another game without an interception as well. He has gone 3 of the last 4 games without an interception and is 5th in the league in fewest interceptions with 6.
The Bears defense was presented with a big test trying to contain Jackson, Maclin, LeSean McCoy, and Michael Vick and passed that test. After rushing for 185 yards last week against the Dallas Cowboys, McCoy was held to 71 yards, almost half of them coming on one play (33).
Michael Vick’s legs were a non-factor in the game, rushing for only 34 yards. He also threw a red zone interception in the first half. The Bears superstars on defense came through this Monday night. Linebackers Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher were all over the field plugging up running lanes for Vick and Julius Peppers got the one sack of Vick. Vick remains winless in his career against the Bears.
The Bears showed some resiliency Monday night. They had a 10-0 lead late in the first half when the Eagles scored 10 straight points to tie the game. The special teams forced a turnover on a punt with about a minute left in the half that led to a touchdown and a 17-10 Bears lead.
The Eagles again gave it to the Bears when they took another lead in the fourth quarter. Cutler went 6-8 for 60 yards and a touchdown in that 4th, however, to take the lead back. They then added a field goal by Robbie Gould, who made all 3 of his field goals and is now 17/18 for the season. He also moved ahead of Walter Payton for 2nd on the Bears all-time scoring list behind Kevin Butler.
Head Coach spoke about the Bears leadership. “They know it’s a 60 minute game and you just have to fight through some adversity. But you just have to stay the course. When you’re a confident team, I think you do those things.”
The Bears are showing the critics that they are better than they think. They feel disrespected and Smith echoed the players’ feelings.
“We’re a good football team, just not getting a whole lot of respect,” Smith said. “The Chicago Bears shouldn’t be eight point underdogs when we come in to play a team, and the players took notice to that.”
The Bears could take another step in earning more respect when the Detroit Lions come to Chicago in Week 10.