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Bears Mon Nov 29 2010
By all measures, Chicago's on-field demolition of Philadelphia was a cause for celebration for Bears fans across Chicagoland. However, before we get to the breakdown of the game, there must be the reflection and acknowledgement of Stuart Haverty's passing. That skull-faced specter, Death, appeared at, of all places, Soldier Field and a 23-year-old was left to shrug off the mortal coil. Death is never maudlin and the fact that someone so young, died at something so commonly associated with communal revelry is shocking and disheartening. By most accounts the event is being reported as a most-unfortunate accident and an isolated incident. Cold comfort and of little solace to Haverty's family to be certain. Tailgate's thoughts are with Stuart Haverty and his family today.
The action on the field? Astounding. The Bears defense has been mauling the lesser squads of the NFL all season and, I, dubious jerk that I am, had all along been assuming that a real offense (read: Philadelphia's) would shred the Bears. I was wrong, dear reader, so, so, so, so wrong. At this point in the season, Chicago's 8-3 record is no longer a mirage and the team's three losses (one to the mighty New York Giants defense; two to baffling egg-laying Washington and Seattle) appear to be the abnormalities. The defense which had grown so fat on the foundering and folly-prone likes of Dallas, hapless Buffalo and toothless Miami, proved how real they are by defusing the nuclear Philadelphia offense with the deft precision of a SWAT team.
Offensively, the Bears were incredibly balanced. Matt Forte after popping off for 97 yards and a tuddie last week in Miami, exploded for 117 yards (with longs of 61 and 28) against Philly. Meanwhile, Jay Cutler was the sterling Cutler-Bot 5000 of his Vanderbilt days, torching the Eagles secondary to the tune of four TDs on 14 completions and no interceptions.
At the 3/4 post of the 2010 NFL season the Bears are sitting in the pole position. 3 away games left against divisional rivals, Detroit, Minnesota and Green Bay could do a lot to swing the divisional (and playoff) race for better or for worse for the Ursa Chicagoans. And of course the home games against New England and the New York Jets are both concerning. But for one weekend at least, Chicago looked the part of a division leading team hell-bent on making a deep playoff run.