Category Archives: Chicago Bears

Bad News Bears; Texans on Thursday

Eagles linebacker Stew Bradley chases Bears receiver Earl Bennett in Sunday's loss. Bennett caught two touchdowns in the game. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Final Score: Eagles 26, Bears 31
Eagles best play: Michael Vick threw a strike through four defenders who were quadruple covering Brent Celek for a touchdown, bringing the score to 31-26 with under two minutes left.
Eagles worst play: Every time it appeared the Eagles had Chicago stopped, their receivers would exploit the middle and the secondaries poor tackling for a first down.

Three stars
M. Forte – 14 carries, 117 yards. 2 catches, 22 yards.
J. Avant – 8 catches, 83 yards.
E. Bennett – 4 catches, 56 yards, 2 TDs.

Breaking down the game

POOR TACKLING/POOR DEFENSE — It was the worst defensive effort the Eagles defense has had all season. With the absence of DE Juqua Parker and CB Asante Samuel, the defense couldn’t tackle or stop the run.

Matt Forte has struggled much of the season, rushing over 100 yards only one other game. He racked up 117 yards on only 14 carries in Sundays win. Chicago exploited the right side where Parker, who is a great run-stopper, would be. And when Forte would bounce the ball outside, he had to force Dimitri Patterson and Joselio Hanson to make the open-field tackle which they couldn’t do.

The Eagles got to Bears QB Jay Cutler four times in the game, all in the first half. The defense looked like it was going to stop leaking and shut down Chicago until the Bears opened up the second half with a quick touchdown drive to make it, 28-13.

They also failed to pick-off Cutler. Cutler has been picked off 10 times this season and the Bears offensive line is not that good. With the linebackers poor coverage and the corners poor tackling, it opened up the slants and curls for 10-yard, first-down plays. Cutler didn’t have a fantastic game but he found all the holes at all the right times.

JACKSON A NO-SHOW — A year removed from a fabulous Pro-Bowl season where DeSean Jackson racked up over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns, he’s been quiet and inconsistent all year.

Jackson caught only two balls for 26 yards on Sunday. It’s now been six games where Jackson failed to record more than 50 yards receiving. He has only 35 catches on the season with 678 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games.

Andy Reid apparently laid into Jackson in the post game locker room about his lack of effort in the loss. But other Eagles like Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy feel that it will blow over and that Jackson will be fine for Thursday’s game.

Bears RB Matt Forte runs for a 61 yards. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

OVERRATED? — The defense has allowed at least 24 points in seven of their 12 games this season. The offense is hot and cold. If Vick isn’t lighting up weak secondaries, he gets shut down by stronger defenses and can’t get the high-powered offense moving. The offensive line is hurt and terrible.

These are all the doubts the Eagles have despite being 7-4 and still in first place of the NFC East, tied with the Giants. But what happens when they give up 31 points to a team with one of the worst offenses in the league? What happens with they have to play four days after that loss and could knock themselves out of first in the division?

If the Eagles hot streak cools down the team starts to fall apart, getting into the playoffs will become harder in an NFC filled with seven teams with a 7-6 record or better.

PHI: 7-4, 1st in NFC East
HOU: 5-6, 3rd in AFC South
Spread: Eagles by 8.
Where: Lincoln Financial Field (Philly, PA)
When: Thursday, 8:30 on NFL Network.
Last Week: The Eagles lost to Chicago, 31-26. The Texans shut out Tennessee, 20-0.

Three games in 17 days. That’s what the Eagles were faced with in the last weeks of November and first in December. After a thrilling win over division rival Giants and a frustrating loss to the Bears, the Eagles have to host Houston four days removed from their 31-26 loss.

The Texans present an interesting match up for the Eagles. Boasting the best wide receiver in the NFL in Andre Johnson and with RB Arian Foster as the top fantasy running back this season, the Texans offense could put up numbers.

Texans WR Andre Johson is among the most dangerous receivers in the NFL. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The big question will be if the Eagles can get a healthy Juqua Parker and Asante Samuel back. The run defense has allowed only two 100-yard rushers all season and Samuel’s seven picks leads a team who is tops in the NFL in interceptions.

The Samuel v. Johnson match up will draw some interest. Johnson has five inches on Samuel and also has a healthy knee. This year, Johnson has 65 catches for 869 yards and five touchdowns.

Foster is the other weapon Houston has that could pose a threat to Philadelphia. The Eagles have allowed a 100-yard rusher only twice all season and Foster has rushed over 100 yards in seven games. He’s rushed for 1,147 yards on the season (5.1 per carry) with 12 touchdowns. He also has 48 catches for 453 yards and a touchdown.

Matt Schaub is a really good quarterback as well. On the season, he’s thrown 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has a passer rating of 92. 6.

Roose prediction (6-5): The Texans are not a good defensive squad, something that could hurt them. If Sameul is healthy, he will keep Johnson in check despite giving up some yards and a possible score. Eagles win this one, 31-24, but still have a lot of questions to answer.

 

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Birds in first; head to Chicago for big NFC matchup

Eagles RB LeSean McCoy waltzes into the end zone after his 50-yard touchdown on a 4th-and-1 in the last four minutes of play gave the Eagles the lead for good. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Final Score: Eagles 27, Giants 17
Eagles best play: Michael Vick bobble the snap on 4th-and-1 but recovered, pitching it left to LeSean McCoy who took it 50 yards to the house with over 4:30 left in the game to give the Eagles a 24-17 lead.
Eagles worst play: In one of the Eagles’ three red zone possessions that ended in a field goal, Jason Avant dropped a pass all alone in the back of the endzone.

Three stars
J. Maclin (PHI) – 9 catches, 120 yards.
L. McCoy (PHI) – 14 carries, 111 yards, TD. 5 catches, 29 yards.
A. Samuel (PHI) – 2 INT, fumble recovered, 2 tackles.

Breaking down the game

THE GAME CHANGER —With under five minutes left in the game and the Eagles’ chances running out, they found themselves in a do-or-die situation. On fourth-and-one, the Eagles chose to run the ball. Instead of trying to muscle it through the Giants stout offensive line, which held LeSean McCoy to 13 yards on the game, the Eagles opted for a toss.

Vick bobbled the snap but got control of it in time to pitch it left to McCoy, who busted through the Giants secondary for a 50-yard touchdown. Vick found Avant for the two-point conversion to make it a 24-17 game with just over four minutes remaining.

McCoy added a 40-yard run on the next possession to get himself over 100 yards on the game in the win.

The Giants saw their chance at tying the game halted when Eli Manning fumbled the ball away. Asante Samuel recovered it for his second of the game. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

DEFENSIVE STAND — We all know how goofy Eli Manning looks. The Eagles made him look even more foolish in the game, forcing him to throw three interceptions. Manning also didn’t help his cause when he dove forward and fumbled the ball in the fourth quarter, halting the Giants drive when they trailed 24-17.

The Eagles were all over Manning, forcing bad throws and poor decisions. Manning managed to complete only 20-of-33 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns. The longest pass he completed was to Brandon Jacobs, who picked up most of the 22 yards after the catch.

The ground game for New York, which was one of the best in the league, was absolutely stuffed. The Giants managed only 61 yards on the ground with over half the yards coming on Ahmad Bradhaw’s 17-yard run and Manning’s 16-yard run that ended in a costly fumble.

FINE GAME FOR SAMUEL — Other than being fined $40,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Giants WR Derek Hagan, Samuel had himself a tremendous effort. He picked off Manning twice and recovered two fumbles, the first forced by Brandon Graham and the second off of Manning in the win. Samuel also had two tackles which could be a career high the way he wraps up ball carriers.

HOBBS ON IR — Ellis Hobbs was injured on a scary play in the third. Taking the opening kick-off of the second half, Hobbs was hit head-to-head by Giants DL Dave Tollefson, injuring his neck. No foul or fine was issued to Tollefson because Hobbs isn’t considered a “vulnerable” player and that helmet hits are allowed on ball carriers with established possession (*cough*bullshit*cough*).

The hit left Hobbs lying on the field for over 11 minutes before being taken off on a stretcher.

Hobbs was placed on the injured reserve today. Hobbs missed the last nine games of the 2009 season with a neck injury.

PHI: 7-3, 1st in NFC East
CHI: 7-3, t1st in NFC North
Spread: Eagles by 3.5
Where: Soldier Field (Chicago, IL).
When: Sunday, 4:15 on FOX.
Last Week: The Eagles beat the Giants, 27-17. The Bears shut out the Dolpins, 16-0.

BATTLE FOR BEST IN NFC — People will get a good look at what the Eagles high-powered offense can do against one of the best defenses in the NFC. They saw last week they could over come a tough Giants defense but a repeat performance would solidify them as the top contender in the conference.

Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin are all enjoying years to remember. Vick is a top MVP candidate with his performance this season, throwing for 1,608 yards, 11 touchdowns, and no interceptions this season. He had the highest pass rating (108.7) in the NFL. He’s also run for 375 yards and five touchdowns.

 

Bears RB Matt Forte runs through two Dolpins last Thursday in their 16-0 win. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)

On the Bears offense, Jay Cutler has completed over 61% of his passes for 2,064 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He could struggle against the Eagles secondary which features ball hawks Asante Samuel, who leads the NFL with seven picks, and rookie Nate Allen, who has three. As a team, they’ve picked off a league-high 19 passes.

 

The Bears are relying on their defense, which has allowed an average of 290 yards a game this season, third in the NFL. They’ve also allowed an NFL-low 14.6 points per game. D.J. Moore leads the team with four interceptions and ends Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije have a combined 11 sacks.

Chicago will be well-rested for this game, having 10-days off before kickoff. Their 16-0 win over Miami on Thursday helped keep them in pace for first place in the NFC North.

This game is going to come down to whether or not the Bears weak offense can score on the Eagles strong defense. If their defense holds up their end of the bargain, it could be a very low-scoring game. If not, expect the Eagles to win in a blowout.

Roose’s prediction (6-4): The Bears defense will hold the Eagles offense  enough to win but they won’t score. Eagles win, 19-10.