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In American Football, like in most sports, entire games can be decided by one single momentum shift. Last night was filled with different key shifts in the game, most notably in only the last two minutes of play prior to the end of the first half, in which possession of the ball switched four times. What started with the Eagles finally putting three points on the board, was followed with a defensive stop while the Bears were deep in their own territory. Then Brian Rolle pried the ball free from the Bear’s running back Matt Forte, and ran it in for six points. It is important to mention Forte’s 133 yards, and an impressive opening drive.
When a game turns around from being down 10-0 and several plays later have the game be knotted at 10-10 with under 2 minutes to go in the half, a fan expects a good chance at victory. The Eagles then forced Chicago to punt the ball to the dangerous DeSean Jackson, and were ready to take over the game going into the locker room after getting the ball at the start of the second half. It seemed as though the Eagles were ready to take over the ball game.
It is tough when a team lets the momentum change to the opposition, but it is even more difficult when a team begins to over and is ready to take the momentum and run with it like it seemed the Eagles were going to do, only to see DeSean fumble the ball in the Bear’s redzone, ending up in seven points for Chicago. This could have had a different outcome, but ultimately both teams in any given game will have mistakes. However, last night’s mistakes from the Philadelphia Eagles were abundant. The hard-nosed hitting linebackers from Chicago put the hurt on Michael Vick, while the Eagles couldn’t put enough pressure on Jay Cutler to throw too many bad passes. In addition, the Bear’s had a great offensive weapon in Matt Forte, who could run it when the Eagle’s were expecting a Cutler pass.
The combination of strong play from Chicago’s offensive line, Cutler’s big play–avoiding a huge sack from three attacking Eagles– and with Forte’s legs, this team has proved it can grind out big wins over teams that are least expecting it. Not to mention, the match-up we got to see last night met perfectly with the strength of the Bear’s defense arguably battling the fastest ground attack in the NFL. The Bear’s were able to prove that a long time-tested defense will prevail over a newly put together and speedy offensive team.
Basically, here are the main points about the game. Vick got banged around, Cutler proved his toughness, there is still some debate about if Forte or McCoy is better, the Bear’s still have a solid defense, and finally…will the Eagles make the playoffs standing at 3-5?