I figure that since 1986 I've watched around 400 Bears games.
Today's game was in the Top 10 of 'most fun' games I've watched.
The Bears were able to run and throw all over the Eagles. The return game excelled. The defense was able to contain Michael Vick and provide pressure.
Let's get to the Ditka, the Spellman, and the Mirer
Mike Martz: Martz found the perfect blend of innovative Martz Theory and conservative Bears football. Early in the season, it was too risky...the past couple weeks it's been fairly
conservative. This week, Martz was able to get Cutler out of the pocket, work in play action, use Hester correctly, etc...we could go on for hours. Just a beautiful game plan. Martz worked the inexperienced Eagles corners to death...and it worked.
Jay Cutler: His best game of the season. Cutler made the Eagles respect his ability to get out of the pocket. 14 of 21 for 247 and four touchdowns...and that's with his team having the lead for the majority of the game.
Bears defensive line: Each of the Bears' four sacks came from the defensive line. Toeaina, Peppers, Adams, Idonije, Harrison, and Melton were all over Vick. More importantly, Vick was never able to get outside of the pocket. The Bears lineman reacted under 'contain' first, and then pressure second...just a brilliant game. Hell...even Tommie Harris had a big pass deflected that changed the course of the game.
Bears return game: Still the best in football (in my humble opinion).
Brian Urlacher: The Bears only rushed four the entire game. They also kept two safeties 20 yards off the ball every play, too. This put the linebackers on an island. On 95% of the plays, there was a 12-15 yard gap between level II and level III. This gap demanded great games by the linebacking core. Urlacher was all over the field. Nine tackles, a couple passes defensed...he rarely had help in the middle of the field.
DJ Moore: This former practice squad player is making himself visible on almost every play. The Bears are getting more comfortable sending him on blitzes...the guy has a great 'ball sense'...and tonight, he came down with six tackles.
Earl Bennett: Remember when he couldn't memorize Turner's playbook? Now, he mysteriously can memorize the more complicated playbook of Mike Martz? Weird. I'm not complaining, though...the guy has been great.
Devin Hester: After years of Bears fans complaining to management that Hester would be best utilized as a third down receiver and kick returner...the coach's finally returned the favor. Since that time, Hester has been amazing. 170 total yards.
Matt Forte: Hitting the holes. Hitting them hard...giving him the ability to cut back on the second level. That's his, ahem, Forte.
Bears offensive line: I know, I know. There were about 7-8 broken plays. Outside of that, Cutler was able to make big plays, and the Bears were able to run the ball with authority.
Eagles in the Red Zone: 1 of 5. The difference in the ball game. While the Bears will give up yards, the cover 2 has a tough time giving up points in the red zone.
Bears throwing on third down late in the fourth quarter? I appreciate your balls, Mr. Martz...but let's not get crazy. That was another 30 seconds you gave the Eagles...and you made this decision with a turnover prone quarterback...not good.
Chris Williams pulling on the Devin Hester end around? It works like this Mr. Williams...inside shoulder on the outside of the defenders shoulders...your job is to give Hester an opportunity to make a play AND help you make your block. F-.
Chester Taylor: You might want to sit this next one out, champ.
Johnny Knox getting up after onside kick: Just stay down and sleep with the ball next time.
Philadelphia Eagles players: A reflection of their city: White Trash.
Eagles cornerbacks: completely lost.
This all means that the Bears are an amazing 8-3. They are all alone in first place in the NFC North, AND they own the tiebreaker on Green Bay. Even with all of this, I view next week in Detroit as a must win.
A win would put the Bears at 9-3 and give them some cushion in the playoff race. With the final four games coming against the NY Jets, New England, Green Bay, and Minnesota...the Bears are going to need all the cushion they can get.