The game turned on a play which occurred in the red zone with the Birds about to take the lead. Michael Vick attempted a pass down the middle to Jeremy Maclin who was running an inside route. The pass had no chance of getting there because the Bears inside pass rushers got penetration deep in the backfield and in Vick’s face.
“They did a great job with their scheme”, Vick said afterward. “I felt like we had our opportunities and didn’t take advantage of it. The turning point of the game was the turnover on the 2-yard line. We make that play, it’s a different ballgame … We definitely have to play better, starting with me.”
Vick had veteran defensive tackle Tommie Harris in his face on that play. Harris was two or three yards into the backfield, when Vick let the ball go. Do the Eagles offensive linemen know the snap count when they come out of the huddle?
Motivation is always a big part of playing football. The Bears defensive line were answering questions all week about how they would have any chance of stopping Vick. They showed up ready to play.
The Eagles offensive line was getting patted on the back all week and told how great they were. One group showed up playing like their careers were on the line and one group showed up sleep walking.
The Eagles offensive line was beaten off the ball again and again and they allowed penetration all game long. It seemed that Harris and his buddies on the Bears defensive line spent the entire game in the Eagles backfield.
The only criticism of Vick on the play was that he should have just taken the sack, rather than throw a ball that had no chance of getting to the receiver. A field goal would have given the Eagles a lead, but the pass was tipped and intercepted.
The Eagles defense didn’t show up and play well, and the same thing can be said about the offensive line, especially the interior. On one play in the first half, the Bears sacked Vick on two defensive end and defensive tackle twists and their entire front four was unblocked.
I think the Birds offensive line may be relying on Vick’s mobility too much because they didn’t put up much of a fight. Were it not for their quarterback’s athleticism, the game would have been a blowout. They must play better.
That right guard spot with Nick Cole and Max Jean-Gilles is becoming a serious problem. Center Mike McGlynn has played well most of the time this season, but he has trouble with quickness.
They have to give their tackles help on good defensive ends, which limits the production of their tight ends and running backs in the passing game.
Vick was able to extend plays and elude Bears defenders in order to get the ball down field. That allowed the Eagles to make a game of it, but they couldn’t overcome that big lead the Bears grabbed.
The Bears showed that they may have the best defensive line in the game. The Eagles were able to block the Giants defensive front when they weren’t blitzing last week, but the Bears were able to line up with only their front four rushing and beat the Birds consistently.
This game wasn’t a good one for Juan Castillo and his offensive line. The Eagles couldn’t run the football with any consistency and they couldn’t protect Vick.
I don’ t think this can win a title with some of the weaknesses they have upfront.