PHILADELPHIA – Jay Cutler threw a go-ahead 5-yard TD pass to Earl Bennett, Matt Forte ran for 133 yards and the Bears rallied to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 30-24 on Monday night.
“We cannot afford to fall behind against anyone in this league, so we needed a good start,” Forte said. “We had that, and even with that fast start, we still fell behind against that team. But we stayed focused and recovered. We tried not to worry about the past, and just focus on the next play.
“For us, that is the key.”
It was a crushing loss for Michael Vick and the Eagles (3-5), who blew a fourth-quarter lead for the fourth time this season. Jeremy Maclin fell and was tackled at the Chicago 30 after a 9-yard catch on fourth-and-10 with just under two minutes left, and the Bears ran out the clock.
“We need to keep getting better,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. “We have to continue to work hard and learn from our mistakes.”
Chicago (5-3) won its third straight game, but remains third in the NFC North behind Green Bay (8-0) and Detroit (6-2).
After LeSean McCoy’s 33-yard touchdown run following Forte’s second fumble gave the Eagles a 24-17 lead in the third quarter, the Bears answered with 13 straight points.
Robbie Gould kicked a 38-yard field goal to cut it to 24-20, and Chicago’s defense forced a punt after three plays.
The Bears drove 51 yards for the go-ahead score, with Cutler tossing a 5-yard TD pass to Bennett over Asante Samuel for a 27-24 lead.
“All you ever hear is DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin and all of the plays that they can make,” Bennett said of Philadelphia’s standout receivers. “So, we just wanted to go out there, make some plays, and prove the critics wrong.”
The Eagles reached the Bears’ 42 on their next drive. On fourth-and-6, punter Chas Henry bounced a pass to a wide-open Colt Anderson and Chicago took over.
Henry, recruited as a quarterback at Florida, spent a lot of time throwing passes to long snapper Jon Dorenbos on the sideline in the second quarter, presumably warming up for the fake punt. He got his chance and badly underthrew the pass.
“Pretty seldom do we have a guy completely uncovered and have a chance to make a big play. We didn’t execute,” Reid said.
The Bears took advantage. A pass interference penalty on Nnamdi Asomugha at the Eagles 7 prolonged the drive. The defense stiffened and Gould hit a 22-yarder to extend the lead to 30-24.
In a matchup featuring two of the game’s best running backs, Forte outplayed McCoy except for the two fumbles. McCoy had 71 yards rushing and scored for an eighth straight game.