For all the talk of running back Matt Forte being the Bears offense, it was quarterback Jay Cutler who had to rally to beat the Eagles Monday night at Philadelphia, 30-24.  Forte, who fumbled the ball twice, had gone 374 touches without a fumble before the game.

Turning point

The Bears were near midfield at the start of the fourth quarter where Cutler helped engineer a 5 play, 39 yard drive that ended up with Cutler throwing a 5-yard go ahead score to receiver Earl Bennett.  The Eagles could not answer in the fourth quarter as their offense sputtered allowing kicker Robbie Gould help put the game out of reach and extending the Bears lead to 10 after kicking a 22-yard field goal with 3:58 to play.

Key players

Jay Cutler played mistake-free ball completing 18 of 32 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns.  He managed the game effectively and the persistence paid off. Despite losing two fumbles, Forte was still a force on the Bears offense running for 133 yards on 24 carries. Bennett had a big game catching 5 balls for 95 yards and a touchdown.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick threw for 213 yards completing 21 out of 38 passes and an interception.  Running back LeSean McCoy lead Eagles rushers with 71 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown.  In a balanced game like this no one really came out the goat, but it was Chicago who made the most of their opportunities even though they were penalized more yardage.

Most telling stat

Both teams have now played each other for the fifth straight year.  The Bears won four of five against the Eagles.

What it means for the Bears

The Bears are a game back of the Detroit Lions, who are coming off their bye, for second place in the division in a conference clearly owned by the undefeated Green Bay Packers.  At the rate the Packers are playing, the division might start to be out of reach for the Bears. They can very well catch the Lions next week as they visit Soldier Field.

What it means for the Eagles

The loss means the 3-5 Eagles are tied in last place with the Washington Redskins and a game behind the .500 Dallas Cowboys. The NFC East is just a notch better than the NFC West which is not saying very much. It’s the 6-2 New York Giants’ division to lose at this point barring some kind of collapse.

The Eagles will have to prove that they are less dysfunctional than the visiting Arizona Cardinals (2-6) as Vick’s former backup Kevin Kolb comes back to face his old team.