Monday, November 7, 2011

That was a pleasant surprise!

Good to have you back, Earl.

Bears 30, Eagles 24.

Our offensive line just dominated that entire game. Pass protection was great (Cutler was only hit ONCE tonight and it was a late hit penalty that saved our final drive), run blocking was great (Forte and Barber: 33 carries for 164, 1TD) and only a handful of penalties instead of the normal barrage of false starts and holding calls.

Cutler played yet another awesome game and looked a lot more comfortable in the pocket with big Earl out there as a safety valve. The Eagles were supposed to have one of the best secondaries ever assembled and we beat them pretty handily. We only punted twice all game (not including the final kick to run clock) and without the Forte fumbles, we probably would have put up even better numbers offensively. No problems converting 3rd downs and overall not a lot of mistakes.

Our defense was also stout - loved the hustle from Idonije and Briggs and really impressed with Peppers' ability to impact pretty much every play (even when he's hurt). Our inexperienced secondary was supposed to be a big question mark tonight but we completely locked down Jackson and Maclin. I really like Tim Jennings out there: fast, aggressive and doesn't give up big plays.

The only cons were the uncharacteristic Forte fumbles and the fact that Hester injured his ankle towards the end of the game, although the severity wasn't clear.

This leaves us at 5-3 with a legitimate chance of moving into 2nd place in the NFC North if we can exact revenge on the Lions next week (now a huge game). They kicked our ass a few weeks back but we're a better, healthier team now with a lot more confidence. If Cutler keeps leading the offense the way he's been doing the past few weeks (minus the TB game, he's had QB ratings of 99.6, 115.9 and 96.9), we should be in good shape. He finally looks comfortable back in the pocket and with Forte keeping defenses honest, we might be able to finally implement some crazy Martz aerial fireworks.



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