From Julius Peppers to Matt Forte, from Devin Hester to Johnny Knox, the Bears ran circles around an Eagles team that many believed to be the NFL's fastest during Sunday's 31-26 win at Soldier Field, which may make it time to give this team a more fitting name: Bear down, Chicago Blurs.
"We looked pretty fast yesterday," tight end Greg Olsen said. "Our defense was chasing around the fastest quarterback who's probably ever played. You see Julius track him down on that key third down stop to make them settle for a field goal there in the fourth quarter. Those defensive guys, between the guys up front, the linebackers, the secondary, they were flying around. With Johnny and Devin and Earl [Bennett] on the outside, and Matt and Chester [Taylor] in the backfield, and Jay [Cutler]. We've got some guys who can go."
It was the Bears who were supposed to be guarding against big plays while playing Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, but it was the Eagles who spent more time studying the back of their opponent's jerseys. Philadelphia had two plays of 28 yards or longer. The Bears had six. If you factor in special teams and defense, the Bears had a commanding 9-3 edge.
"If you look at the players we have on the offensive side of the ball, we're supposed to be making big plays," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "Devin Hester, he's on record. Johnny Knox is. Greg Olsen, Matt Forte. We have big-play guys over on that side and we expect them to make those plays each week.
"Going into the game, of course, we said the same thing about Philly. The defense did a good job of keeping their receivers out of the mix as far as big plays were concerned. Maclin and Jackson caught a few passes but they never really got going in their offense."