The 3-4 Chicago Bears head to Philadelphia Sunday to square off against the 4-4 Eagles. The Bears, coming off of three straight losses, need a win to stay in playoff contention. It’s the same story for the Eagles, sitting at .500, right behind the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East standings. They need the win to continue to contend for the division title.
The last matchup between the Eagles and Bears was unforgettable, to say the least. These two teams met in the playoffs in January, and the Eagles came away with the upset victory. They watched as Cody Parkey’s field-goal attempt bounced off of both goal posts and popped back out to seal their victory in the closing seconds. It’s a moment Bears fans will never forget. The Eagles are five-point favorites in this matchup, with the over/under set at 42.
The Bears started the season with three wins in their first four games, and quite honestly, the defense looked unstoppable. They have only allowed two different 100-yard rushers this season, in losses to the Saints and the Raiders.
Since losing defensive tackle Akiem Hicks to a gruesome elbow injury against the Raiders three weeks ago, the Bears rank 13th in rushing yards allowed per game. While you couldn’t run on this team the first month, Hicks was a difference-maker, so an opposing team should be able to move the ball unless the Bears can find a defensive lineman to step up his game.
The combination of Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky has taken the brunt of the criticism during their current losing streak. Nagy for some questionable offensive calls and very poor clock management, and Trubisky because he has played horribly this season, even in the Bears’ victories. Trubisky has looked like a game manager at best. Trubisky ranks in the bottom five of starting quarterbacks in most significant categories.
Are They Good?
The Eagles have had an odd season, to say the least. They’re beating the teams they are supposed to beat, sometimes. They have had nice wins, including beating the Bills 31-13 last week and taking Aaron Rodgers and the Packers down, 34-27.
To go with those wins, they also have been beaten by the Falcons and the Vikings, who used the Eagles to get back on track, beating them 38-20. Even the lowly Redskins were able to keep it close, only losing by five.
Carson Wentz has also had an interesting season himself. While not playing too poorly, he has 14 touchdowns to four interceptions, and a 94 passer rating, Eagles fans seem to have been spoiled by the way Wentz played as a rookie. Fans and media have both had recent chatter making him out to be a bad leader and overrated. Wentz made those people eat their words a week ago.
Eagles rookie running back Miles Sanders has the team’s rushing attack back on track. Sanders ran all over the Bills a week ago and will look to do the same to the Bears’ banged-up defense. The two-headed monster of Jordan Howard and Sanders have racked up 737 rushing yards this season, and they look to add to it. Howard is looking for payback against his former team, while the rookie is trying to have a mid-season breakout.
With the Bears’ defense banged up and the Eagles starting to look like the team they should’ve been, this could be a tough week for Chicago. They will need Nagy and Trubisky to come out on the same page, all cylinders firing. The NFL pick is the Eagles to cover the 5.