Lovie Smith has Michael Vick’s number. In 4 regular season games against Vick Lovie has won all of them, adding win number 4 last night as the Chicago Bears beat the Philadelphia Eagles 30-24 on Monday Night Football. Vick was contained again by the Bears defense forcing him into a turnover, keeping his running in check, and making Vick uncomfortable in the pocket. While the Bears defense was keeping the Eagles offense in check, the offensive line of the Bears stepped up allowing Jay Cutler and the rest of the offense to make enough plays to win the game. All in all it was going to take a team effort to beat the Eagles, and the Bears got it.
The defense was the biggest concern going into Monday Night’s game, not so much for the way it has played, but for the strength of the Eagle’s offense and it’s big play ability. The safeties and the rest of the Bears defense put the clamps down on the Eagles big play ability, only allowing 3 plays over 20 yards and 1 over 30. The defensive line got pressure on Vick when it needed, and slowed down LeSean McCoy keeping the elusive running back for being able to cut back. The Bears cut running lanes and were relentless in their pursuit of the ball carriers. Major Wright picked off Michael Vick after Vick’s pass was tipped by Lance Briggs.
The biggest story of the day on the offensive side of the ball was two fold with the return of Wide Receiver Earl Bennett and the improving play of the offensive line. Starting with the line the biggest stat of the night was 0 sacks. Let me repeat that, 0 SACKS given up for the Bears offensive line. With time Jay Cutler showed the national TV audience what he can do, using his mobility when he needed it and even getting creative. Cutler also threw a beautiful pass to Bennett in the end zone for the Bears to take the lead. Bennett’s return seemed to boost Cutler’s confidence and the rest of the offense as Bennett has that chemistry with Cutler that allows him to be the go to receiver in whatever situation the Bears find themselves in. Matt Forte continued to rack up the yards as he ran for 133 yards but fumbled the ball twice, one returned for a touchdown by the Eagles. Those two fumbles are Forte’s first fumbles of the year, but came at critical points in the game.
Overall it was a good game played by the Bears, and more importantly gives them another tie-breaker win against an NFC foe who could compete with the Bears for the wildcard. It also get’s the Bears on a roll heading toward Sunday’s rematch with the Detroit Lions, with 2nd place in the NFC North on the line.
Notes… Kicker Robbie Gould passed Walter Payton for 2nd on the Bears all-time scoring list, with Kevin Butler at the top of the list … Devin Hester was seen limping off the field with a possible ankle injury and Julius Pepper also was hurt his knee, more on both injuries later.