Call them lucky, I know I have.
Call them flukes – I’ve done that, too.
But there’s really no disputing it now: The Bears are for real.
All eyes were on the Eagles heading into Sunday. They were one of the hottest teams in the league with one of the hottest quarterbacks, and many people believed that they were the best team in the NFC. But while all eyes were on Michael Vick, Jay Cutler stole the show in the Bears’ 31-26 victory.
Cutler completed 14-of-21 passes for 247 yards and four touchdowns, but more importantly he didn’t throw an interception. His offensive line, which has improved over the past three weeks or so, gave him plenty of time to find open receivers and he shredded a depleted Philadelphia secondary. He displayed tremendous poise and confidence, and he never forced the ball (something that has become a habit of his) into coverage. He now has nine touchdowns to just three picks in his last four games for a Chicago team that is now one full game ahead of Green Bay (which lost to Atlanta on Sunday) in the NFC Central.
Vick, on the other hand, spent most of the game trying to avoid a Bears’ front four that dominated the trenches. He did complete 29-of-44 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns, but he was picked off for the first time all year (in the red zone, of all places) and he gained most of his yards through the air in the fourth quarter when Chicago was playing prevent. He was good, but Julius Peppers (who has been worth his huge contract, even if he isn’t racking up sacks) and the Bears were better.
At 8-2, the Bears are now in great position to make the postseason but they still have a tough row to hoe. They’re at Detroit next week, but then play the Patriots at home, the (rejuvenated?) Vikings in Week 15, the Jets in Week 16 and the Packers in Week 17. The season could still wind up in the gutter, but if they play like they did on Sunday against Philadelphia, then Da Bears will be playoff bound.