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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bears Just Better Than Birds


          Jason Avant won’t have to worry about anyone jumping on the Eagles’ bandwagon this week.

          It’s tempting to call last night’s loss to the Chicago Bears, 30-24, a classic by the Eagles. The game after a huge win that supposedly resurrects the season, a game in which the Birds were heavily favored, and the Eagles look flat in the first half, make a comeback, and lose.

          But I think the real story was that the Bears were just the better team last night.

          Chicago just never allowed the “big” play that the Eagles thrive on.

          The Eagles defense wasn’t bad, and they even made a couple of big plays. A Brian Rolle fumble recovery that he ran in for a touchdown towards the end of the first half tied the score at 10-10 and finally gave the team some life. They even forced a quick punt on the next possession to give the Eagles at least a chance to really swing the momentum at halftime.

          Instead, DeSean Jackson fumbled the punt on the Eagles’ 9-yard line and the Bears scored a touchdown before the half ended to take the momentum for themselves.

          The Eagles opened the second half with their best drive of the night, taking the ball 80 yards featuring Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy. Ronnie Brown eventually punched it in for the tying touchdown.

          Mike Patterson recovered a fumble on the third play of the next drive, and the Eagles struck quickly. McCoy took a handoff two plays later for a 33-yard touchdown and 24-17 lead.

          But as has happened before this season, the Eagles offense finished the night early. They would not score again.

          The same could be said for the defense. Chicago responded with a field goal and a touchdown on their next two possessions to go ahead 27-24, taking a lead that they never relinquished.

          Andy Reid finally got into the act – he always does – on the next possession. A decent Eagles drive stalled on the Bears’ 42. Instead of a punt, the Eagles called a fake that actually had a great chance to work but punter Chas Henry missed a wide open Riley Cooper.

          Players have to execute, but is that really the combination the Eagles want on a pass play in a 4th quarter comeback effort?

          Chicago added a field goal on their next possession to cap the scoring.

          Mike Vick, who looked ok all night but like the rest of the team could never “takeover” the game, couldn’t get anything going in the last meaningful drive for the Eagles.

          While the defense finally made some plays, they weren’t blameless in the loss. Jay Cutler has been on his back for a good portion of the season, yet the Eagles tallied a total of zero sacks, and there really wasn’t much pressure on the Bears quarterback all night.

          The Dream is now 3-5.

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