The Redemptions: Donovan McNabb threw an interception intended for DeSean Jackson on a slant route in the second quarter. Jackson later fumbled a reception away in the third quarter. McNabb finally found Jackson deep for a 48-yard, go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter, even though Jackson had seen less double-coverage than usual. Similarly, LaSean McCoy, who lost a fumble early in the fourth quarter, later burst off the left tackle and ran a gauntlet of Bears for the winning, 10-yard touchdown.
The middle: The latest solution at middle linebacker, Joe Mays, returned to his hometown for his first significant playing time – by default; Jeremiah Trotter, Will Witherspoon and Chris Gocong hadn’t worked out in the middle. Trotter started and hit RB Matt Forte for no gain on the first play. Mays then took over, and made two more plays that helped stall the Bears’ first drive. Mays afterward got most of the plays in the first half … and was blocked out of the play on Kahlil Bell’s 72-yard run in the second quarter. Trotter replaced Mays in the second half.
The left side: Jason Peters, the upgrade at left tackle, returned after a week off dealing with his ankle injury. He was leaned on heavily in the Eagles’ first drive, which earned them a field, goal, and he played flawlessly on that drive. He aggaravated the injury on the third series and things got worse. He was hit with a false-start penalty of the season early in the second quarter, was largely responsible for the Bears’ first sack, then tripped Alex Brown late in the third to short-circuit a drive.
The Cutler-y: Entering the game with a league-high 17 interceptions, having thrown five the week before, Bears “franchise” quarterback Jay Cutler overthrew tight end Greg Olsen and wideout Devin Hester on consecutive plays to start the second quarter. Both were uncovered. He then nearly threw an interception at the end of the Bears’ next drive; Macho Harris dropped it. Finally, inside of the last minute, Cutler threw his 18th interception of the season. He deserved more.
The Wildcat: Michael Vick bolted 34 yards on the third play of the game, eclipsing by 1 yard his combined running and passing total for the season. More typically, he then hit Brent Celek (late, for no gain) on the second play of the second drive, then was part of a too-many-men-in-the-huddle penalty early in the third. More cowbell? How about more Wildcat!
His usual role: Starting cornerback Sheldon Brown, nursing a sore hamstring, was used sporadically – despite his assertion Friday that, despite limited use in practice, he would be used in his regular role. The Eagles revealed after the game that he played with a partially torn hamstring.
NUMBERS TO PONDER
* Since 2000, the Eagles are 54-25-1 in November and December.
* The Eagles won the time-of-possession battle for just the third time this season and the first time since Week 3.
* The Eagles are 6-0 this year in games in which they’ve led at the half. Since 2000, they are 79-11 when they’ve led at halftime.
* Donovan McNabb has completed 60-plus percent of his passes in 4 of the last 5 games.
* The Eagles have committed 7 or more penalties in 7 of their 10 games this season.
* The Eagles sacked Jay Cutler just once. It was the first time this season they haven’t had at least two sacks in a game.
* In their last 4 games, the Eagles have allowed 4.48 yards per carry. In their first 6 games, they held teams to 3.54 yards per carry.
The Washington Redskins, who lost 7-6 yesterday to Dallas, come to the Linc next Sunday. The Redskins have fallen to 3-7 and as coach Jim Zoen put it Sunday, "3-7 is bleak."
Washington allowed 7 points to St. Louis earlier this season and barely won. Now, they have allowed seven points and barely lost.
Among the big questions is who will run the ball. Washington is likely down to third-stringer Rock Cartwright, who had a big day yesterday after Ladell Betts went out with a strained knee ligament. Clinton Portis is expected to remain sidelined following a concussion.