With just under 13 minutes to play in tonight's contest, the Chicago Bears lined up for a 2nd and goal play from the Philadelphia 5-yard line. QB Jay Cutler set up under center with WR Earl Bennett wide right. Cutler saw the single coverage on the edge and gave his wide receiver the signal.
"It was going to be something inside. Something presented itself where we couldn't run it," Cutler said. "I locked eyes with Earl and he knew exactly what I was thinking."
Cutler took two steps back and lobbed a fade pass into the back corner of the end zone. Bennett went up over the defender and pulled in the game-winning touchdown.
"I've been playing with [Bennett] for a long time," said Cutler. "We've got a connection that he knows what I'm thinking and I know what he's thinking. It worked out."
The Bears pulled out the road win 30-24, bringing their record to 5-3 on the season. Chicago is now sixth in the NFC, with tie-breakers over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4), Atlanta Falcons (5-3) and the Eagles (3-5).
Injury wise, WR Devin Hester left the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. He'll be re-evaluated tomorrow. Otherwise, the Bears came out of the game healthy.
-Jay Cutler had arguably his best game as quarterback of the Chicago Bears. He completed 18 of 32 passes for 208 yards and 2 TDs. He was on target for the majority of the evening and did a great job keeping plays alive with his feet. During one play on that game-winning drive, Cutler was pressured and scrambled out of the pocket. He then lost his footing and fell down, yet he had the presence of mind to get back up and pitch the ball to RB Marion Barber for a nine-yard gain. A few plays later, Cutler scrambled up to the line of scrimmage and then pitched to Hester who picked up the first down.
After the Bears fell behind by seven points midway through the third quarter, Cutler engineered two scoring drives to put the Bears back in the lead. His poise in the pocket was outstanding, as was his creativity and decision-making.
-Bennett, in his first game back after missing the past five weeks, led all Chicago receivers with 5 catches for 95 yards and 1 TD. He was a threat on third down, hauling in every pass that came his way. Cutler used him as his safety valve over and over and Bennett came through. This is a different passing attack with him on the field.
-RB Matt Forte had his standard game, rushing for 133 yards and picking up another 17 yards through the air. He showed great field vision, awareness and quickness, further making his case for NFC Offensive Player of the Year.
-The Bears' offensive line completely dominated the Eagles' front seven tonight. They did not allow one sack, while opening up numerous holes for a rushing attack that gained 166 total yards on the ground. This front five has started for three straight games and are getting better as they play. It's going to be a tough decision for offensive line coach Mike Tice on how to re-shuffle this line once Gabe Carimi returns.
"When that front five is comfortable and they are picking things up and the pockets clean, with our receivers, it's going to be hard to stop us," Cutler said.
-WR Roy Williams contributed 3 catches for 46 yards but he also dropped a 60-yard bomb that went right through his hands. He just cannot be trusted.
-Linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs were all over the field tonight. The two did a great job in attacking the ball and not allowing Michael Vick or LeSean McCoy too many big plays. McCoy ran for just 71 yards while Vick could only pick up 34 yards scrambling. Briggs was able to tip the pass that S Major Wright eventually ended up intercepting. With these two playing at such a high level, it's going to be tough for opposing offenses going forward.
-Wright and fellow safety Chris Conte but did a good job keeping the Eagles' offense in front of them. They did not allow the big downfield pass, which is job No. 1 for Chicago's safeties. Wright also picked up the only interception of the game. Both badly missed a tackle in space but overall, it was a solid performance from the two youngsters on the back end.
-DE Julius Peppers picked up the only sack for Chicago's defense and knocked down two passes. Yet it was his ability to chase down Vick that was so impressive. On numerous plays, Peppers used his speed to track the quarterback from sideline to sideline. He was one of the biggest factors in limiting Vick's effectiveness.
-Corey Graham has been a force on special teams all season. Tonight, the Bears punted the ball near the end of the second half. Graham flew down the sideline, got knocked out of bounds, then came back in and made the hit on punt returner DeSean Jackson. The hit knocked the ball loose and the Bears recovered, leading to a Marion Barber touchdown. Graham is a weapon in coverage every week and is an asset to this team.
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.