I knew the Bears needed a good start.
Look at what the Eagles did the previous week against Dallas – opening drive they scored, second drive they scored again. The game was over in a hurry.
“We cannot afford to fall behind against anyone in this league, so we needed a good start.” – Matt Forte, who despite two fumbles, rebounded from his mistakes and still was the main reason why the offense looked good.
A good start is of the utmost of important, especially against the Eagles, a team that looks Super Bowl-worthy when ahead and very average when behind.
The first drive for the Bears didn’t even need to provide luster, it just needed to get the job done, mainly, running the football.
12 plays – eight runs. Two third down conversions. One by “Mr. Third Down” himself, Earl Bennett.
Six rushes for 52 yards for Forte, who (or Martz) has made it a habit ever since the Green Bay game to get the rock rolling early.
Side note: Isn’t it great to have a second back, or what? Marion Barber, kudos. You are a monster!
The Bears speedy defense played a “signature game.”
Devery Henderson, Calvin Johnson, Jahvid Best…big plays allowed by the defense that not only changed games, but made you think, “Is this defense still an elite group?”
“We’re athletic enough up front, fast enough up front.” – Julius Peppers, who played like a warrior despite a knee injury.
We all know the Bears have the talent to be a top-five unit, but what’s been killing them this season has been the propensity to give up big plays, mostly in the pass department.
Against Vick, there was no big play in sight. It showed you, that if Marinelli’s 11-man gang continues to keep the big pass play in front of them, they are going to be hard to beat.
Reasons why? No one can run all over the Bears’ front-seven. LeSean McCoy had some nice runs and looked good while doing so, but still was held to 71 yards. Vick? Only 34 yards.
Chris Harris was cut why? He couldn’t cover ground. Brandon Meriweather doesn’t play because he has no pass awareness. Chris Conte and Major Wright (who I still don’t trust, especially as a tackler) are the right combo because they give the Bears enough speed in the secondary to combat the deep ball.
Really, this defense all comes down to not messing up. Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings are playing excellent football. Both went solo and locked down Jackson and Maclin. Mightily impressive, to say the least. So, it’s all on the safeties to play their part. Bend, but don’t break, baby!
Side note: D.J. Moore is a player in the “Joker role” roaming around blitzing and playing good coverage. Tremendous athlete and asset.
Two words: Earl Bennett
Hands down, Cutler’s favorite and most trusted target and the best receiver on the team. Bennett’s return made a huge impact!
Let’s see…game-winning touchdown, third-down conversions, and the versatility to line up anywhere and give the offense a different look it’s been lacking.
Lance Louis is playing out of his mind. Mean streak, power, and just the wherewithal to hold up blocks and man up. I love this guy! No sacks allowed? Are you kidding me? The run blocking is steadily looking prime time and now you have Cutler getting time…watch out.
In the end, Cutler also made the line look good with unbelievable elusiveness and pocket presence. He was a wizard with his footwork. Complete joy to watch him go to work and make incredible plays. No picks, too.
I always bring this up: if you are playing good football and play your game, that’s all that matters. There was not one moment where I was upset or concerned that the Bears were going to lose this football game. The defense gave up a few pass plays, so what!?! It’s the staple of the Tampa/Cover-2, which they didn’t play as much as they did man-to-man, a tribute to the physical style of Tillman and Jennings. So, you give up yards, but not points. Give some, but get it back and make sure you stop them from getting into the end zone. Plus, the Eagles are still the Eagles, they are going to get theirs.
Defensive line had a strong (yes, that’s you, Israel!) rotation going, getting consistent penetration and doing a good job overall. Brian Urlacher/Lance Briggs, just can’t say enough about how great the LB duo truly is. They do it all. Run down ballcarriers, quarterbacks, receivers, cover, tackle, make plays. Doesn’t get any better than that.
Special Teams? Forgot to shed some props on you guys! Robbie Gould is straight money. Corey Graham is a beast. Big-time forced fumble on DeSean. Huge.
At a crucial time of the year, to come off of a Bye week and adjust and improve, the Bears had that “look” of a playoff-caliber team. This was the game to do it. On the road against an explosive offense and defense. Not only did they win the game, but they impressed me more than what they did at any time last season. This is the most talented and best Bears team since ’85. Get ready for Detroit!