Justin Boylan
Sept 29 2008

2008 Game 4... Bears 24 Eagles 20

The oldest cliché ever uttered by anyone about sports is, of course, “defense wins championships.” That statement is entirely correct, if you don't believe me just ask Trent Dilfer. However, as Sunday night's battle between the Eagles and the Bears showed, it takes more than just defense to win at Solider Field.

The game last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers was a defensive struggle; running back Brian Westbrook went out and quarterback Donovan McNabb injured his shoulder in the second quarter. The defense was forced to step up and did just that sacking their way to a victory. As if that wasn't enough, the Eagles defense was asked once again rise to the occasion and keep the game close so that sooner or later McNabb and the offense could take the lead and the game. But…

Chicago's first possession fed off the roaring crowd of over 62,000, the energy was high and it took all of 3 plays for Kyle Orton to find tight end Greg Olsen for a quick 7-0 lead. The Eagles came right back and evened the score with a 22-yard touchdown pass from McNabb to rookie DeSean Jackson. Speaking of Jackson, he made the second mistake of his young career, not as moronic as dropping the ball before crossing the goal line, but muffing a punt that gave Chicago tremendous field position. The Bears capitalized, scoring again, this time the pass was caught by wide receiver Marty Booker. Not to be outdone, the Eagles answered with a 67-yard drive capped off by Correll Buckhalter's one-yard touchdown run.

Kyle Orton threw a third touchdown pass, a career high for Mr. Orton, before halftime and the Bears had a 21-14 lead heading into the second half. What looked to be a back-and-fourth offensive shootout soon turned into a defensively dominated affair.

While in the first half the Eagles offense answered, in the second half it was the defense who picked up the calls. When McNabb threw an interception early in the third quarter, safety Quintin Mikell got the ball right back picking off Orton in the end zone. The Eagles D recovered two fumbles in the third quarter, but the offense could take advantage and settled for two field goals.

With four minutes left the Eagles had first and goal inside the 5-yard line. No Brian Westbrook to punch it in, and on fourth and goal the play call was again to run it with Buckhalter. The Bears stood strong on the goal line and held on to the game, winning 24-20.

The reason this one hurts so badly is because of the opportunities that presented themselves to the Eagles. Philadelphia was forced to punt six times, and kicker David Akers missed twice, forgetting that Chicago is indeed the Windy City. The Eagles defense did not allow a second half touchdown, yet the offense couldn't find the end zone either.

The opportunity to be even in the NFC East standings with both the Cowboys and the Redskins was screaming at the Eagles but they decided to put in their earplugs. The list goes on and even though its still early in the season who knows whether or not this will be a game we look back and say, “if only.”

An opportunity the Eagles still have is to take a divisional game against the Redskins this Sunday in Philadelphia. Redskin running back Clinton Portis will have to bring his A-game since the Eagles still have yet to give up 100 yards rushing. On the other hand, the Eagles offense is going to have to bring a better performance home with them, or the shovels that are ready to dig a hole will start to break up the dirt.



© Copyright 2006. Jules Pilla

Not affiliated with the Philadelphiqa Eagles or the NFL.