Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, your 8-3 Chicago Bears

Now THAT was fun. Cutler to Hester down the sideline? Delicious. Greg Olsen stealing the ball away from the defender in the end zone? Tasty. Peppers chasing down Vick from behind and getting enough of him to bring him down? Delectable.

It was the Thanksgiving dinner of football games. I'll have seconds of EVERYTHING. All of it. That game filled up my belly, just like the Bears filled up the stat sheet.

It was a game that made you ... well, it made you believe. It made you imagine and have hope and wonder what could be ... If the Bears can win in all three phases of the game against the Eagles, who can't they beat? The Bears are tied for the second-best record in the NFC, trailing only the Falcons who are 9-2. They pulled ahead of the Packers in the NFC North and gained a huge tiebreaker over the Eagles. 8-3 ... 8-3 ... 8-3 ... It's fun to say.

The Bears actually allowed their biggest point total of the season, but 13 of them were junk points at the end of the game and it didn't matter because the Bears also put up their biggest point total of the season on offense. It was FUN.

Here's what amazed me most: the Bears' receivers did their best impression of the Eagles' receivers, looking every bit as fast and athletic. DeSean Jackson? Meet Devin Hester. Jeremy Maclin? Meet Earl Bennett. The Eagles are widely regarded as the fastest team in the NFL, but the Bears one-upped 'em on Sunday. Too much tryptophan for the Eagles I guess.

The speed was evident on the defensive side too. While Vick rushed for a decent 44 yards, his longest run was 11 and he was sacked four times. Peppers was flying around, several others picked up partial or full sacks, and the coverage must have been phenomenal because Vick stood back there several different times and just refused to throw the ball down field. The Bears are FAST.

But Cutler was able to slow the game down, connecting for four touchdowns and refraining from any off-the-back-foot, throw-it-into-triple-coverage passes. Which brings us to today's STAT OF THE DAY! Cutler's QB rating of 146.2 was the highest of his career. Not just his career as a Bear, but his career period. Cutler OWNED the Eagles. Optimistic Bears fans have said all season that with their great defense, this team could be a force if Cutler and the offense could show signs of improvement. Done. And that was today's STAT OF THE DAY!

Martz called more runs than passes AGAIN, and Forte absolutely steamrolled the Eagles with 117 yards and 8.4 yards per carry. The offensive line spent a few plays in Week 4 Mode (when they allowed 10 sacks to the Giants) but ultimately held their own overall and opened up holes left and right in the running game. Maybe, just maybe, the offense needed time to gel under a new offensive coordinator, and maybe, just maybe, we're seeing it start to happen. Could this team be GOOD? I mean actually GOOD?

Ah, what the heck, it was all so much fun, let's just watch a recap:

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