Philadelphia, PA (AP) - The Eagles rack up nearly 600 yards of total offense to blowout the Bears in front of the Philly faithful 44-10.
Chicago provided the biggest challenge to date for Philadelphia.
That lasted for most of the first quarter. After that, the Eagles woke up and took care of business, pounding the Bears from the air and on the ground.
It started off very ugly for the Birds. DeSean Jackson, back in the lineup for the first time since injuring his ribs against Buffalo, fumbled the ball on the kickoff return at the beginning of the game. Chicago recovered and took the ball into the endzone four plays later. It was one of the few times the Eagles have trailed all season long.
Philadelphia's offense was very flat to start out the game, as well. The team was forced to go three and out on its first two drives of the game.
"It took us a while to wake up," admitted Eagles head coach Andy Reid. "But, once we got slapped around for a few minutes, it really got our guys going, and we didn't look back from there."
|VIDEO HIGHLIGHT: LeSean McCoy got the Eagles on the board with this 44 yard run.|
One thing that helped Philly early on was the play of their defense. While the offense sputtered, the Eagles "D" sacked Cutler four times in the first three drives of the game and, other than the initial touchdown, forced Chicago to go three and out on a regular basis.
Late in the first quarter, the Birds picked up their initial first down of the game into Bears territory. Then, LeSean McCoy put the Eagles on the board with a 44 yard run up the middle to pay dirt. And, just like that, the game was tied at 7.
It would stay that way into the second quarter. Early in the period, Philadelphia would get the ball at its own 7 yard line. The offense proceeded to methodically march the ball down the field with a perfect match of runs and passes, ultimately going 93 yards to score the go-ahead touchdown. Ronnie Brown picked up the last 18 yards with a run up the gut in which he just flat out beat everyone to the endzone after he hit the hole.
"That was an impressive run," said quarterback Michael Vick. "He just kicked it into high gear as soon as he hit the hole, and he was gone. A couple of their guys thought they had him lined up, but he just blew right by them."
Also impressive on that drive was Vick himself, who went 4-4 for 55 yards on the drive.
|VIDEO HIGHLIGHT: The Eagles had Cutler running for his life all game long, sacking him 11 times.|
Another big story in this game was Philadelphia's defense, and the ability to convert turnovers into points. The Birds forced four turnovers overall against Chicago - three interceptions from Jay Cutler and a fumble. Those turnovers became 13 points for Philadelphia in the form of two field goals and a touchdown. They also added to Philadelphia's league-leading +19 turnover differential
One of the reasons Philly was able to force the turnovers was the ability to put a ton of pressure on Cutler. The Eagles sacked him an almost unbelievable 11 times, including 4.5 sacks by Cullen Jenkins, who leads the NFL with 16.5 sacks so far this year - halfway through the season.
"We just love getting at the quarterback, there's really nothing more to it than that," said Jenkins. "To a man, we each bust our butt to get to the quarterback and at least make him uncomfortable if we can't take him down."
After kicking a field goal to take a 10 point lead, Philadelphia went on another impressive two-minute drill drive. The Eagles took the ball with 1:53 left and proceeded to drive it 70 yards on five plays, eating up just 1:00 of game clock to take a 24-7 lead and really put a stranglehold on the game. The final 37 yards came on a pass from Michael Vick to Jeremy Maclin in the endzone. Maclin showed off his athleticism by outjumping the defensive back to grab the ball for the score.
|VIDEO HIGHLIGHT: They don't come much easier than this. Jarrod Page intercepts a Jay Cutler pass deep in Chicago territory.|
"It felt a little like I was back playing basketball," said Maclin. "Kinda like boxing your man out and going for the rebound. I just went up as high as I could and timed it perfectly to make the catch."
Maclin would catch another deep ball, although he couldn't score on that catch in the second half. He'd finish the game with 87 yards receiving. Meantime, his teammate on the other side of the formation, DeSean Jackson, played a solid game after returning from injury. Jackson was actually hurt again on the first drive of the game. But, he came back and played the entire second half and finished the game with four catches.
"I was glad to get back out there and do my thing," said Jackson. "I got a little shaken up early on, but I'm glad I was able to fight through that and help contribute to the win tonight."
Vick finished the game with 295 yards passing. And, running back LeSean McCoy added another 100 yard rushing game to his belt, although barely. McCoy only averaged a little more than 4 yards a carry, but he still managed to score twice.
The Eagles next welcome the Cardinals to the Linc. They'll be looking to exact some revenge for knocking Philly out of the playoffs in the NFC Championship game in 2009.