Sunday, November 29, 2015

Eagles-Bears scouting report

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has 652 receiving yards and five touchdowns on the season. (Clem Murray / Staff file photo)
Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has 652 receiving yards and five touchdowns on the season. (Clem Murray / Staff file photo)

Recent history: The Eagles beat the Bears, 24-20, on Nov. 22, 2009, when Donovan McNabb led an 11-play, 62-yard drive, topped off by LeSean McCoy's 10-yard touchdown with 5:31 left in regulation.


Eagles: 399.4 per game (2nd)

Bears: 294.4 per game (30th)

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  • Quarterback

    Eagles: Bears likely will copy Giants' strategy from Sunday night and force the lefthanded Michael Vick to his right. He is not nearly as accurate moving to his right and is less patient as a passer. He ran 11 times against the Giants for only 34 yards.

    Bears: Jay Cutler has a strong, accurate arm, but often gets careless with the ball when he's pressured. He's thrown seven interceptions in the Bears' last four games, including four in a Week 8 loss to the Redskins. Completed passes to seven different receivers on third down 2 weeks ago vs. Vikings.

    Pick: Eagles

    Running back

    Eagles: LeSean McCoy is averaging 5.0 yards per carry and scored the go-ahead touchdown Sunday on a 50-yard fourth-quarter run. He leads all NFL running backs with 51 receptions and has 22 receiving first downs, His effectiveness on screens has helped slow down opposing pass rushes.

    Bears: Matt Forte has a good blend of size, strength and athleticism. He rushed for 1,238 yards as a rookie in '08, but is averaging only 3.8 yards per carry this season and has rushed for more than 50 yards in only three games.

    Pick: Eagles


    Eagles: DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin have combined for 12 touchdowns and 10 receptions of 40 yards or more. Jason Avant is one of the league's most productive slot receivers (33 catches).

    Bears: The Bears don't really have a No. 1-type wide receiver. Johnny Knox and Devin Hester both have big-time speed, but still are raw route-runners. Knox is averaging 18.2 yards per catch, but has just one touchdown. Greg Olsen is a good pass-catching TE who can catch the ball over the middle and in traffic.

    Pick: Eagles

    Offensive line

    Eagles: This unit has been the offense's biggest weak spot all season, which is why the Eagles have gone to so much max-protection. LT Jason Peters has put together three solid games since returning from knee surgery, and must bring his "A" game against Julius Peppers.

    Bears: The Bears are last in the league in sacks allowed per pass play. They're giving up a sack every 8.2 attempts. LT Frank Omiyale will have his hands full with RE Trent Cole.

    Pick: Eagles


    Eagles: 313.3 yards per game (9th)

    Bears: 290.4 per game (3rd)

    Defensive line

    Eagles: DTs Antonio Dixon and Mike Patterson have been the biggest keys to the Eagles' success against the run the last six games. Eagles have held their last six opponents to just 3.6 yards per carry. After giving up 22 runs of 10 yards or more in the first four games, they've given up only nine in the last six.

    Bears: Julius Peppers had only two sacks in the first nine games before notching three Sunday vs. Miami. But he's been a seasonlong factor in the Bears' second-ranked run defense. The blocking attention on Peppers has provided LE Israel Idonije with a lot of one-on-one pass-rush opportunities. He has six sacks.

    Pick: Eagles


    Eagles: As WLB Ernie Sims has gotten more comfortable with Sean McDermott's system, he has become more consistent and productive. MLB Stewart Bradley will be challenged by 6-6 TE Greg Olsen, who has been targeted 54 times by Jay Cutler in the first 10 games. SLB Moise Fokou has been a difference-maker vs. the run since becoming a starter.

    Bears: Led by playmaking MLB Brian Urlacher, this unit is the strength of the defense. The key Sunday will be getting depth in its drops and minimizing the zone between the LBs and safeties for the Eagles' receivers to catch the ball. SLB Pisa Tinoisomoa missed Sunday's game, but is expected to play.

    Pick: Bears


    Eagles: The key Sunday will be the health of CB Asante Samuel. He has been the MVP of this opportunistic defense, which has 19 interceptions and 26 takeaways, both NFL highs. He has a league-high seven picks, including six in the last five games. Dimitri Patterson, who has replaced Ellis Hobbs at the other corner, challenges receivers and does a good job in run support.

    Bears: They play a Cover-2 scheme with both safeties very deep, making it difficult to get behind them. RCB Charles Tillman is consistent, with good size (6-1, 198), who is very good at jamming receivers at the line. FS Chris Harris is physical in run game, but can be exploited in pass game.

    Pick: Bears

    Special teams

    Eagles: Coverage units have improved dramatically as the season progressed. They gave up only one KR of more than 30 yards in the last five games and allowed only one double-digit PR in the last three. P Sav Rocca is ninth in the league in gross average (45.4).

    Bears: PR Devin Hester already returned two punts for TDs this season. He also has a 68-yard KR. P Brad Maynard is last in the league in gross average, but is one of the game's better directional punters. PK Robbie Gould has missed four of 10 from 40-plus yards this season.

    Pick: Bears


    Eagles LCB Asante Samuel vs. Bears QB Jay Cutler. Samuel leads the league in interceptions with seven. Cutler is a gunslinger who has thrown 36 interceptions in his last 25 starts. Advantage: Eagles

    Eagles WRs DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin vs. Bears CBs Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman. Jackson and Maclin have combined for 12 touchdown catches, six more than the Bears have given up this season. Advantage: Eagles

    Eagles LT Jason Peters vs. Bears RDE Julius Peppers. Peters has played at a Pro Bowl level since returning from knee surgery. Peppers is coming off a three-sack game vs. Miami. Advantage: Even



    Eagles: CB Asante Samuel. Had two interceptions and a fumble recovery in the win over the Giants.

    Bears: DE Julius Peppers. Had three sacks vs. Dolphins after collecting only two in the first nine games.


    Eagles: DE Trent Cole. Had one tackle vs. Giants. Hasn't had a sack in the last two games.

    Bears: RB Matt Forte. Has averaged only 3.4 yards per carry in the last five games.



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