By Kevin K
A pair of 7-3 teams go at it this week as the Eagles head to Chicago to play the Bears. This is an important game for both teams as the Playoffs are around the corner and both teams look to make a run for the Super Bowl, this game will give us a tie-breaker just in case it is needed.
The Bears: The Bears offense is mediocre. They still are missing the big play receiver as Jay Cutler’s favorite target to throw to is Johnny Knox (37 receptions, 672 yards and 1 TD this year). In the recent past it has been Devin Hester (28 receptions, 284 yards and 2 TD) who has caused the Eagles troubles. The speedy CB turned WR has been the Bears deep ball threat in recent years, however, the 5-11 Hester has been mediocre since the Bears lost in the Super Bowl a few years back.
The Bears look to win games by their running game. Matt Forte (150 carries, 567 yards and 4 TDs) and Chester Taylor (76 carries, 216 yards and 1 TD) are a good one-two punch in the backfield for the Bears and will need to be to beat the Eagles in this game.
The Bears also look to utilize TE Greg Olsen against the Eagles, being that covering the TE has been the biggest weakness of all for the Eagles. Olsen averages 11.5 yards per catch this season with 4 TDs (the most of any Bears WR/TE). Jay Cutler and the Bears look to utilize this Eagles weakness against them.
QB Jay Cutler may have a big arm and may be “the most dynamic QB in the NFL” but he is having a hard time throwing the ball to the lackluster WRs the Bears have given him. On the season, Cutler has 12 TD passes along with 10 INTs. When Cutler has time he is dangerous, but Cutler hardly ever has time.
The Bears Offensive Line has given up 33 sacks this season on Cutler alone (37 Total). The Bears Offensive line is not very good, and the Eagles are going to look to throw the Bears off by, what else, blitzing them.
The Bears strength has been and always will be the defense. Led by MLB Brian Urlacher, the Bears have one of the best defenses in the NFC, notice their 7 wins so far this year. The defense is a huge strength for the Bears as they look to take out the explosive offense of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Eagles Key: Stop the run and stop Greg Olsen.
Prediction: Eagles will win this game, even without Asante Samuel. I believe the Eagles offense is too good to lose to the Bears in this one and will somehow pull off a win. I believe the Eagles will win by at least 7.
Note: The Eagles will be without CB Asante Samuel (Knee) who is officially listed as OUT for this game and did not travel with the team. The Bears will look to utilize the weakness of the Eagles at CB as Joselio Hanson takes over the starting spot along with Dimitri Patterson. The Eagles last week lost CB Ellis Hobbs for the season and now head into Chicago without their two starting CBs this season.