Thursday, July 30, 2015

Eagles-Bears: What We're Watching

What to keep an eye on in tonight's Bears at Eagles game:

Eagles-Bears: What We're Watching

0 comments
Bears punt returner Devin Hester is more than capable of breaking open a game with a big return.  (AP Photo)
Bears punt returner Devin Hester is more than capable of breaking open a game with a big return. (AP Photo)

What to keep an eye on in tonight's Bears at Eagles game:

NO HAPPY RETURNS: Devin Hester is the league's most dangerous return man. He's a home-run threat every time he touches the ball. He's third in the NFL in punt returns and seventh in kickoff returns and has taken both a punt and a kickoff to the house this season. It's incumbent upon Eagles' rookie kickers - Chas Henry and Alex Henery - to limit Hester's return chances. Easier said than done. Henry's directional punting skills aren't as good as Sav Rocca's, and Henery only has 15 touchbacks in 39 kickoffs.

NOT THEIR FORTE: Jury remains out on Eagles' run defense. Redskins ran just 14 times against them, and Dallas ran it just 10 last week (still averaged 8.5 yards a carry). Tonight, against red-hot running back Matt Forte, will be a better indicator of where they are. Forte has rushed for 138.2 yards a game - 6.2 yards a carry in last four games. He's also a dangerous receiver, averaging 11 yards a catch.

ATTACK OF THE WIDE-NINE: Bears QB Jay Cutler is capable of doing some incredibly stupid things when he's pressured. He's also capable of carpet-bombing the best of defenses when he's not. Bears' o-line has protected him well since giving up 11 sacks to Saints and Falcons in Weeks 1 and 2. But the Eagles' front four is fourth in the league in sacks per pass play.

More coverage
 
POLL: Which new Eagle are you excited to see in camp?
 
VOTE: What's the biggest story of Eagles training camp?
 
Game-by-game breakdown of Eagles' schedule
 
DOWNLOAD: Philly Pro Football app
 
FORUMS: Who will make the 53-man roster?
 
Latest NFL odds
 
Buy Eagles jerseys and other gear

COVER-2 REDUX: Bears play a Cover-2, which is what Dallas did in an attempt to take the deep ball away from scary-fast Eagles. Patient Eagles took what Dallas gave them, which was the middle of the field. Tight end Brent Celek and slot receiver Jason Avant were targeted 14 times and caught 12 passes for 168 yards and a TD.

SERVE AND PROTECT: There were a lot of reasons why the Eagles got off to a 1-4 start, but none were more significant than turnovers. The Eagles had a league-worst 15 giveaways in their first five games and a league-worst minus-10 turnover differential. But they had their first turnover-less game of the season last week and won the turnover battle against both the Redskins and Cowboys. The Eagles are 72-17 under Andy Reid when they win the turnover battle.

*

For a complete preview, check out today's Daily News Eagles Playbook by clicking here.

Daily News NFL Columnist
0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Eagletarian is your home for comprehensive coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
letter icon Newsletter