Sunday, November 28, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Bears 31, Eagles 26
By Matt Mosley
CHICAGO -- Some quick thoughts on the Philadelphia Eagles' 31-26 loss to the Chicago Bears:
What it means: The Eagles fell to 7-4 with this loss and are now tied with the New York Giants atop the NFC East. The Bears had arrived at 7-3 with an easy schedule, but they were impressive in beating the Eagles. Coach Andy Reid attempted to get back in the game by kicking field goals in the fourth quarter, but it only put off the inevitable. The Bears served notice that they could be a force in the NFC.
How did this happen? The Eagles were getting a lot of pressure on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler early, but offensive coordinator Mike Martz did a nice job of changing his approach. Cutler started taking three-step drops and delivering short passes to his running backs and receivers. The Eagles did a pitiful job of tackling. They made Earl Bennett look like a Pro Bowl player as he broke tackles and destroyed Philadelphia in the red zone. And for the first time this season, the Eagles allowed a running back to surpass 100 yards. Bears running back Matt Forte had a 61-yard gain early in the game and he continued to gash the Eagles throughout the game.
The play that changed everything: Trailing 14-13, the Eagles drove deep into Bears territory in the second quarter. But quarterback Michael Vick threw a lazy pass that was tipped by Tommie Harris and intercepted by Chris Harris. The Bears stole all the momentum on that play and never really looked back. The Bears scored at the end of the first half to take a 21-13 lead.
What's next: The Eagles have to immediately get ready for a Thursday home game against the Houston Texans. You can overcome this loss, but dropping a game to the Texans could be devastating. It felt like the Eagles were standing around waiting for Vick to do something in this game. But the Bears' defense proved that Vick is not invincible. He actually finished 29 of 44 for 333 yards, two touchdowns and the one interception. But a lot of those yards came after the game had been decided. And the interception changed everything. The Bears sacked Vick four times and caused him to run for his life. It was an excellent game plan by Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.