The Monsters of the Midway were silent. The Bears defense was silent. The Bears
offense was silent. In fact, the fans of Soldier Field were silent except for those
few thousand die hard fans dressed in midnight green. It was total domination on
all three sides of the ball. The defense held the Bears to a grand total of 184 yards,
While on the Eagles side, the offense gained 336 total yards. On special teams, Eagles
kicker David Akers was a perfect 4 for 4 in field goals. He also made two clutch long
field goals into a brisk wind of 40 and 47 yards in the second half. Sean Landetta, all
of 41 years out punted his counterpart by far, averaging 41.5 yards per punt. It was a
15 yard punt by Brad Maynard in the third quarter which setup the game winning touchdown.
On the touchdown play, the Bears forgot to cover Duce Staley who was set on the far wing.
Donovan rushed the snap and easily found Duce for a touchdown, though Staley had to dive
to bring in the ball. The score read 20-14 with 2:36 left in the 3rd quarter. Game. Set.
Match. The Bears never recovered. Really, though, the Chicago Bears were never in this game.
The Eagles took it to them for 60 minutes. The Birds pounded them physically and mentally.
The Bears made two plays all game long. The first was on an offensive trick play. Little
used Ahmad Merritt ran a receiver end around for 47 yards and for the Bears first touchdown.
Then in the third quarter, Jerry Azumah intercepted a Donovan McNabb pass for a 37 yard
touchdown. Both plays gave the Bears a 1 point lead, their biggest of the game. Both times,
McNabb answered with his own touchdown drive. Takeaway those 2 plays and the Eagles would
of won 33-3 and the Bears would of been held to 140 total yards.
On defense, the Eagles physically beat up on the Bears led by Hugh Douglas. In the second
quarter with Bears inside the red zone, Jim Miller was pressured by Hugh Douglas to throw
the ball away. Mistake one. The ball was intercepted by Damon Moore. Then Miller made a move
to attempt a tackle of Moore. Mistake two. Hugh Douglas legally blocked Jim Miller into the
turf and on the play, Miller suffered a separated shoulder. He would never return. In the
very beginning of the second half, Bears receiver Marty Booker tried to catch a pass over
the middle and was hit hard by Rashard Cook. Mistake three. Booker also separated his shoulder
on the play and did not return until halfway through the fourth quarter. Two plays later, Mike
Brown tried to lay out Brian Mitchell on a punt return. Mistake four. Mitchell ran him over
and Brown suffered a concussion on the play. He would not return until late in the 4th too.
Dez White was a little woozy on a hit he took in the third quarter. The Eagles defense took
the game to the Bears. The Bears running game led by the A-Train and rookie Anthony Thomas
was held in check all game long. Thomas gained only 36 yards on 15 carries. The Bears finished
the game rushing for 111 yards, but remember 47 of those yards came on one trick play, otherwise
the Bears running game was ineffective. The passing game only netted 73 total yards. Miller's
replacement was as ineffective as was Miller on the game. Miller passed for 23 yards and 1 INT,
while his partner Shane Matthews passed for 66 yards and 2 INT. Both quarterbacks did not
throw a touchdown pass. The closest the Bears got to the goal line was in the second quarter
and Miller was intercepted by Damon Moore. Bears receiver, Marty Booker who caught 100 passes
for 1,071 yards during the regular season only caught 2 passes for 18 total yards. The Eagles
defense proved once again, they are among the elite defenses in the NFL.
But the game was ultimately decided by the Donovan McNabb who purchased 25 tickets for family
and friends in his hometown. Donovan went to Mount Carmel, a private school in downtown Chicago.
His last game as a senior in high school was played on this same Soldier Field. He was brilliant
then as he was now. His mother and father provided the entire team with some home style cooking
the night before the game. She made them fried chicken, cornbread, turkey, stuffing and plenty of
gravy. Then on Saturday, McNabb dissected the Bears in their house as he completed 26 passes on
40 attempts for 262 yards with 2 TD's and 1 INT. He also rushed 8 times for 37 yards and 1 touchdown.
After his touchdown which was a designed quarterback draw from the 5 yard line, he showed off one
of his other skills. The art of basketball dunking. Donovan ran over to the goal post and dunked the
ball for 2 more. In the closing minutes, McNabb was again on the sidelines doing the funky chicken
dance. On the day, the great Michael Jordon returned to the Windy City, it was Chicago's other son
who stole the show. McNabb once again proved to the world, that he is a money quarterback. John Elway,
Jim Kelly, Brett Favre and Joe Montana were all known for big game performances. Now you may want to
consider Donovan McNabb in their company, though he has only played in three seasons so far. This was
a big time pressure situation for McNabb, and he came out firing, running and dancing around the
Bears defense. Even after a bad play where he was intercepted and the result was a touchdown, he came
right back and led the Eagles down the field for a touchdown. No matter what scheme the defense has or
what plan, if Donovan is on his game, he is almost unstoppable. The more pressure there is, the better
he is. Donovan seems to rise to big game occasions with a bigger game. And what bigger game is there
than being on the road in a hostile environment as Chicago and in his hometown where friends and
family are a distraction. This is the playoffs. This is where 21 of 22 teams in the NFC on the road
have lost since the NFL went to this new format in 1990. Donovan McNabb led the Eagles to victory
with a little help from his friends.
No matter who we play next week, it will be tough. Green Bay has Brett Favre, 2 time NFL MVP and
Super Bowl Champion. While St. Louis has Kurt Warner and all those fast receivers. Warner won the
MVP this season and was the Super Bowl MVP 2 seasons ago. The Eagles defense has a lot to prove
still and when you have Donovan on your side, your chances are better than without him. The Eagles
also have perhaps the best kicker in the NFL and most definitely, the league's best special teams.
Brian Mitchell is still at the top of his game and rarely fumbles. In two years with the Eagles, he
has fumbled twice, both in that Sunday night game against Dallas back in late September. Sean Landetta
has 17 years of experince and should of been a pro-bowler with a 43.6 average per punt. But what
about David Akers. He was perfect yesterday, going 4 for 4 in a very windy Chicago. The clincher
in the fourth quarter was a 46 yard field goal which put the Eagles up 26-17 at the time. He has made
just about every kick this season. He was awarded with his performance with his first Pro-Bowl
appearance. With the NFL's best special teams, with the NFL's 2nd best pass defense (1st after the
last game), and with Donovan McNabb at the helm, anything is possible for this young Eagles football