On Further Review: Copycat Bears force Vick to the right

Bad news, Bears: Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson sacks Bears QB Jay Cutler for an 8-yard loss. Cutler was sacked four times on Sunday.
Bad news, Bears: Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson sacks Bears QB Jay Cutler for an 8-yard loss. Cutler was sacked four times on Sunday.
Posted: November 29, 2010

Here are some observations and ruminations about the Eagles-Bears game:

Vick to the right

What's that they say about the NFL being a copycat league? Following a blueprint laid out by the Giants last week, the Bears often used speedy defensive backs to pressure Eagles quarterback Michael Vick from his left, trying to force the lefthanded quarterback to his right and make throwing on the run more difficult.

It's one of the few tactics that has been effective.

Picked, then hit

Adding insult to Vick's first interception of the season was the fact that the quarterback took a nasty shot from Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher during the return. Urlacher had tipped Vick's pass, and as safety Chris Harris was returning the interception, Urlacher ran straight at Vick and leveled him.

Harris' interception snapped a streak of 211 consecutive passes this season without an interception by Vick.

Sack happy

When you match two of the best defensive lines in the NFL against two of the worst offensive lines, you're likely to see a lot of sacks. And that's exactly what we saw in the first half as Vick and Bears quarterback Jay Cutler were constantly under assault.

The Eagles sacked Cutler four times in the first half, and the Bears dropped Vick on three occasions. Chicago's offensive line entered with a league-worst 33 sacks allowed and had to have Trent Cole salivating. Indeed, the Eagles defensive end, who had gone the previous two games without a sack, notched two in the first half to give him nine on the season.

Big-gain Bears

A week after holding the Giants' offense to no play longer than 22 yards, the Eagles' defense surrendered three plays to the Bears that went for more than 30 yards in the first half.

The first was a 61-yard run up the middle from running back Matt Forte on which middle linebacker Stewart Bradley failed to make a tackle at the line. The second was a perfectly executed 39-yard screen pass to Devin Hester. And the third was a 30-yard completion to receiver Earl Bennett on which three Eagles defenders - cornerbacks Dimitri Patterson and Joselio Hanson, and Bradley - missed tackles.

Chicago had 180 total yards at the break, with 130 of them coming on three plays.

Out of his league

Poor Trevard Lindley. The rookie cornerback's baptism was by bonfire. Cutler targeted Lindley every time the Eagles cornerback went on the field for a passing down. Lindley wasn't horrendous. He just wasn't up to the task.

Hanson filled in for the injured Asante Samuel on run downs and fared fine. But when he moved inside to the nickel, Lindley was exposed. He was partly at fault for the touchdown from Cutler to Earl Bennett before the half, and he was exposed in the second half every time he played off the ball.

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