Quintin Mikell called this game their “Super Bowl.” Well, the result turned out different than the last time the Eagles went to the big game. This time around, they managed to win. With lots of help from Jay Cutler, who missed at least three touchdowns by overthrowing receivers.
A depleted defense did what they could and limited the Bears to field goals. The offense misfired and looked stagnant most of the night, but picked it up after DeSean Jackson‘s 48-yard touchdown catch. It was anything but beautiful, but you take what you can get when you play one of those must-win games. Right, Donovan?
Here are some initial observations:
- Hey, they won a close game. Hooray!
- It finally happened: Shady got stripped. We all knew it would catch up to him and it came at at a BAD time in the fourth quarter.
- Michael Vick finally made a play. His 34-yard run up the gut on the first series looked like the Vick of yesteryear.
- Other than Trent Cole and Sheldon, I don’t see a lot of tenacity from this team. At times, guys appear to be going through the motions. Sometimes players need a kick in the ass. I recall Dawkins having a nice boot.
- What happened to Brent Celek after the first couple series? Either the Bears took him away, or his number wasn’t dialed up. He’s too important to the offense to not be involved on every drive.
- Another injury in the secondary. With Asante hurt, McDermott was forced to use Mikell at cornerback. I can’t remember a season when they have had to endure this many injuries. It’s beyond brutal. They are literally running out of bodies.
- I dug the touchdown play to Avant where he slipped out after a block and caught a screen. Great design and execution.
- A 16-yard punt? Really Sav? This clown is good for one horrific punt per game. It’s getting old.
- Feast or famine, again. If not for the huge play to DeSean, this could have been another one in the loss column. You can’t survive on steak alone; you need some veggies and potatoes.
- The kick coverage units were very poor. Johnny Knox almost broke two returns for six. On the flip side, the punt coverage team took away Hester.
- How about Antonio Dixon? His blocked field goal was HUGE.
- Joe Mays is not an NFL player. He was caught out of position and exploited quite a bit. He was eventually replaced by Trotter in the second half. I still don’t know why McDermott doesn’t move Fokou to WIL and Spoon back to MIKE. It can”t hurt. Hell, he’s tried every other combination, so what’s one more?
- Fumble aside, Shady had an excellent game. He seems more decisive and is hitting the hole much harder. His pass protection still needs work, but he’s coming along. He muscled a third-and-two run late in the game. 20 carries for 99. Gotta love the near 5 yard per carry average.
- Jason Peters committed two costly penalties. His tripping call at the end of the third quarter negated a big gain to Maclin and ultimately stalled a crucial drive. Inexcusable. However, his run blocking was solid. Shady found room on the left side all game.
- You gotta love the effort from Sheldon. He gutted it out and showed great leadership by example. That being said, he was limited and I’m puzzled why the Bears didn’t attack him more.
- Let youth be served. The offense accumulated 377 yards. 280 of those came from DeSean, Shady and Maclin.
- I really didn’t need to see Hester’s bare ass on the final drive, but there it was.
This team has plenty of talent. Just ask Joe Banner. Problem is, they struggle to put it all together for four quarters. Injuries are obviously part of the problem, but they don’t account for all the issues. What does Reid always say: every win in the NFL is a good win. Even the ugly ones.