- So, I'm still not sure exactly what that was last night. The Bears looked like a competent offense and defense against a resurgent team, and apart from a couple plays (cough MATT cough) looked like the team coming off a two game win streak (well, they were anyway...).
- First thing I noticed was the Bears willingness, and somewhat reliance, on running to the right side of the field early and often. The first four runs were directed to the right side, including the third where he backtracked himself into a wide-open left side for 14 yards. Two runs combined for 39 yards. His other seven runs in the first quarter went for 13 yards. As nice as it is when a Bears' run breaks off a big gain, 'specially when the linemen can block into the second level, the Bears have entirely too many short-to-no yardage run plays.
- The Bears' opening drive: Made of win. As Dane posted in the gamethread, first quarter TOP went CHI: 11:22 / PHI: 3:38. It's easy to lead 7-0 after one quarter when the other team doesn't touch the ball.
- It's pretty apparent how much improved the Eagles' defensive back play is from last season. The coverage was a lot tighter on the receivers than it was last year. Bennett coming back was a really good thing, as he can make those tough catches with a guy draped over him. Bennett had a very strong game in his first action back - 5 receptions, 95 yards, TD.
- So... Where was the pass interference on Major Wright in the second quarter? Still, pretty excellent he was able to pick up the interception later thanks to a Briggs tip cutting in front of him. He was a very mixed bag last night, missing on a few tackles.
- Cutler's arm was really described as a Howitzer? Making sure I heard right. He was throwing into plenty of tight windows early, but seemed to overthrow or underthrow as often early as he had to hit guys right in their hands. And a couple - okay, several - were just not caught. The receivers just were not being helpful. Cutler was actually pretty solid for most of the game. That last throw however, not exactly Howitzer-esque.
- So 2nd and 17 and going to the Wildcat package is your call? Really? Then running on 3rd and 15? At least it led to a 51-yard field goal.
- Good to see Paea and Idonije at least getting some semblance of consistent penetration and hitting Vick. I was about to mention something about Peppers seeming invisible even before leaving with his leg injury, but then he goes and sacks Vick as soon as he comes back in, makes plays down the field, and even bats a pass. The man looks like he has returned, and I apologize to him profusely for thinking him "invisible". Izzy also had a very good game, possibly his best of the year.
- I am still cringing thinking about a "groin laceration."
- Second quarter. Forte, why you give ball away to Eagle defender? Prior to that, Hester and Sanzenbacher both had drops.
- Third quarter. Forte, why you put ball on ground again for Reid to challenge? Forte's yardage will say he had another very good game, but the two fumbles were critical. The first was returned for a touchdown directly to pull the Eagles to 10-10, and the second led to another touchdown to give the Eagles the lead 24-17.
- So in the second quarter, they show Cutler being 5/6 on third down with four firsts, and he throws what might have been his worst pass of the game to that point.
- The Bears still actively choose to not cover tight ends.
- Have to respect the Eagles' choice to keep running it with Shady McCoy - the kid's pretty good. Surprised however that on the fourth down call in the third quarter, there wasn't more thought given to a Vick bootleg or sneak. That being said... someone tackle him. The Bears had open shots at him numerous times, and a lot of the time in open space, they just either missed him or were shrugged off. He's not a spectacular back, but for his workload, he's very much a threat.
- Never thought I would say this, but the return game was looking very much clownshoes-bad.
- The Eagles' first touchdown drive in the third covered 15 plays for 80 yards, three third down conversions, one fourth down conversion, chewed up 6:42 of clock, and involved a series of short passing plays to Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy that would have made Ron Turner happy.
- Wow. Hardly a peep out of the Fearsome Green Foursome. Cole and Babin were held pretty quiet for most of the game. They finally get to him with about 14 mins left in the game, Cutler finds a way to get away and get the ball out to Barber for eight. Thing is, while there was occasional tight end help and RB chipping, it was a strong showing by the offensive line.
- Fortunately, the Eagles cannot execute a fake punt. Would have been easily a first down if not a touchdown.
- Nicely executed fourth down play by the Eagles, except for Maclin falling down - the play that helped seal the win. Well, I mean, it kind of made up for the two Forte fumbles, right?
- Total TOP: CHI 33:27 / PHI 26:33
Total Penalties: CHI 6-53 yards / PHI 6 - 44 yards
Total 3rd Downs: CHI 7-14 / PHI 8-14
Run/Pass: CHI 33 Dropbacks/33 runs - PHI 39 Dropbacks/23 runs. Andy Reid back in form!
- Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs had really solid games, and so did DJ Moore out of the nickel. Strong in run-blitzing in terms of slowing up McCoy enough for support to swarm.
- Safety play, we've covered Wright, but Conte wasn't bad. The Bears did a solid job of taking away the big play apart from a couple McCoy runs, as there weren't a lot of even decent-length completions.