If only the Bears could play all their games in prime time. Just like in week 1, the Bears took the field in front of a national audience against a supposedly superior team and left the field victorious 60 minutes later. For a while, though, like in each of the past two games, it looked like the Bears might surrender their lead late in the game. On this Sunday night, however, the Bears held off the Philadelphia Eagles 24-20.
As in their previous games, the Bears jumped out to a lead in the first half. On the team's first possession, they managed to drive 59 yards down the field for a touchdown on just three plays. After the Eagles tied the game at seven, the Bears took the lead again on a touchdown following the recovery of a muffed punt. But Philly countered again. However, the Bears took a 21-14 lead into halftime after Kyle Orton connected with Devin Hester on a 20-yard TD late in the half.
In the the second half, the offense came to a halt while the defense held the Eagles at bay. The defense kept the Eagles out of the end zone after halftime, holding them to two David Akers field goals -- he also missed a 47-yarder. The highlight of the game was the dramatic goal line stand where the Bears defense held the Eagles three times inside the one yard line, and stuffed Correll Buckhalter at about the 3-inch line on 4th down to preserve the lead.
Not that the Bears didn't try to give the game away a number of times. Following a Bears interception deep in Eagles territory, Kyle Orton was picked off almost immediately in the end zone. A couple fumbles also ended up in Philly hands. But the team overcame these miscues to raise their record to 2-2 on the year.
Now at the quarter point in the season, we still have no idea whether this is a good team that suffered a couple unfortunate losses or whether the Bears are a bad team that's gotten lucky a couple of times. The offense has been inconsistent, as has the defense. So which Bears team is the real one? Maybe by midseason we'll have a better idea, but either way they sit atop the NFC North for now.
AP Photo/M. Spencer Green