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Overachieving Bears Handle Eagles Again

November 8, 2011 Leave a comment

The Bears proved once again on Monday night they have the ability to beat the best teams in the league.  Just like last season, the Bears went in to Philadelphia and showed that they are one of the few teams who can slow down Michael Vick and his high-powered offense.  They did it with fast, smart, and fearless defense.  The question now becomes whether the Bears can catch the Lions and wrap up the wildcard spot.

The Bears defense was all over the field on Monday night.  Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs showed why they are consistently one of the top linebacker duos in the league.  Both players were in on tackle after tackle, and were making plays from sideline to sideline.  One weak point for the Bears defense in recent weeks has been their secondary, especially the safeties.  On this night, the secondary showed up the Eagle’s receivers, who are thought of as one of the top receiving crews in the league.  The defensive line had probably their best game of the season as well.  They put pressure on Vick on almost every play, and were not afraid of him.  Many teams give Vick so much time and space because they are afraid to let him get out of the pocket and run.  Some teams even employ a “spy,” or one player who is assigned to Vick on every play to try and contain him.  The Bears defense is fast enough to play him straight up.  The d-line went right at him, constantly forcing him to roll to his right.  Even if Vick got past the d-line, Urlacher and Briggs were there to wrap him up immediately.

That being said, it wasn’t exactly a picnic for the Bears either.  Let’s not forget that if the Eagles punter hadn’t massively under-thrown his pass on the fake punt in the fourth quarter, it would have been a very different game.  Matt Forte, who has been phenomenal this season, can count himself very lucky that his first two fumbles of the season did not lead to a painful loss.  Even though the wide receivers outplayed the Eagles receivers (Earl Bennet in particular), they also dropped too many balls.  Roy Williams drew more hate from Bears fans as he dropped a bomb from Cutler that hit him right in the numbers, on stride.

Next week is a huge game for the Bears.  The Detroit Lions are coming to Soldier Field, and it’s going to be as close to a must-win game as a Week 10 game could be.  The Bears dropped the first match-up against the Lions in an embarrassing Monday Night loss.  The Lions are 6-2, sitting one game ahead of the Bears, who are at 5-3.  With a win against the Lions, the Bears will pull even with them, putting them right back into the mix for the wildcard.  I think it’s obvious now that no one is going to catch the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North Division Title.

As much as I dislike Lovie Smith as a head coach, you have to respect his ability to get his players to play.  He does do a lot of great things for the team, especially the defense.  If there is one thing we can always say about Lovie Smith’s football teams, it’s that he is constantly able to get them to overachieve.  Ever since their Superbowl run in 2007, the Bears have somehow been successful, even with a terrible o-line and sub-par receiving cores.  I can sit here and rant about the penalties, the terrible clock management, the wasted timeouts in close games, and the annoyingly calm demeanor, but at the end of the day, he seems to get the job done.  Maybe someday the Bears management might actually fix the line and sign some talented receivers, and the Bears might even get back to the Superbowl.  In the meantime, I am forced to reluctantly accept Lovie Smith as long as he keeps his team winning.

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