Many people, myself included, gave the Bears no chance of charging into Philadelphia and sneaking out with a big win. But, to everyone’s surprise, the Bears went out and won a game clean. For once, the Bears defense—who played well—did not have to get the victory on their own.
When you've got a guy like Jay Cutler (Jon Gruden Voice), amazing things will happen when you PROTECT him. Jay Cutler was not sacked once, and that led to him having a big-time second half. Jay probably played the best second half of his career with the Bears last night against the Eagles.
When the Bears got smacked by the Eagles, they hit them right back, only harder. Andy Reid was out-coached by Lovie, and the Bears offense actually looked up to NFL standards. This is a great sign moving forward. The Bears proved they can win a game, coming from behind, and that they can win without having to rely on special teams and defensive touchdowns.
The fans needed a game like this.
Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher were in All-Pro form last night. I swear these guys have found some kind of fountain of youth.
So, what did we learn?
Lance Louis has a real mean streak: Since being inserted into the starting lineup over Frank Omiyale, Louis has been a major player in the offensive line’s improvement. He completely mauled Jason Babin last night and held off a great Eagles pass rush. The Bears coaching staff would be insane to sit him for Carimi at this point. Louis is just nasty.
Chris Spencer was a solid addition: Another guy who appears to have a mean streak—something Tice looks for in offensive lineman—is Chris Spencer. Spencer has turned out to be a good addition by Jerry Angelo. You cannot move him and Louis around by forcing Carimi into the starting line-up. Finally, things are working out up front.
Chris Williams has found a home: The "first round bust" might have just found himself a real home. He has been nothing more than bad for most of his career thus far, but he has played really well recently at guard and is actually looking athletic. Constantly making big blocks in the running game, he is showing that he can actually play. The guy Bears fans have collectively wanted gone, has—at least for now—silenced his critics, myself included.
Entire offensive line: Dare I say it? They can block! Or so it appears. Zero sacks on Jay Cutler for the second time in his Bears career is a good thing.
Defensive play calling: Defensively, the Bears hardly ran any Cover-2 at all. They showed it a lot but didn’t run it at the snap. Lovie did something he never does; play bump and run and man to man defense. There was a lot of Cover-1 and some Cover-3 that, when the ball was snapped, confused Vick to look like man coverage. Lovie dialed up some Blitzes and was confusing Vick in a big way. What a great game plan, and I feel Lovie and Rod had one of their best play calling games … ever.
Mike Martz play calling: Finally, after a year and a half, Mike Martz is moving the pocket, calling bootlegs and just getting Jay into an offensive game plan that he can feel comfortable with. Jay Cutler looked like the guy Jerry Angelo traded for last night. The mixture of draw plays, bootlegs and quicker drops will make this offense a real threat to put up points. What took you so long, Mike? Oh, and thanks for eliminating most of the ridiculous pre-snap motion.
Earl Bennett's return: Some people insisted that his return did not mean anything and wouldn't really help this offense improve at all. You couldn't have been more wrong. Mr. Third Down means a lot to this team. The Bears actually converted third downs on Monday Night and, right from the start, Cutler looked Earl’s way in the situation. He may not be the flashiest receiver in the world, but the guy just does it. His football IQ is very high, top notch route running and super-consistent hands. Not to mention he's tougher than anyone really gives him credit for. If Earl stays healthy, this offense is automatically better. Jay's confidence goes up when Bennett is on the field.
Tyler Clutts: Another guy who has been a great pickup for this team is Tyler Clutts, who has had a great season. I don't mean to keep using the term "mean streak,” but Clutts has that too. The guy can block extremely well, and keeps helping out the rushing attack. It's nice to actually have a fullback that can block for once.
Tillman and Jennings: Seeing them finally play in some man to man situations against legitimately fast receivers, they played very well. Tillman was physical, and Jennings is just a straight up "baller.” I’d like to see them in more situations like that. They proved they can cover in man if necessary.
Chris Conte and Major Wright appear to be solid: In their first real test of the season, the two young safeties played well. There were a few times where Conte was significantly too deep on plays but that’s by design. I’ll take it. Major Wright had to pick up his jock a few times and just looked bad. But overall, he and Conte continue to play well. They’re staying disciplined and not getting beat.