By Brandon Pemberton
Catch me on Twitter @BrandonOnSports
Tonight the Eagles face the Chicago Bears in what is a must win situation in my eyes. The Giants beat the New England Patriots 24-20 yesterday as Eli Manning led them on a game winning drive. Also the Cowboys defeated the Seahawks 23-13 as well and that leaves the Giants at 6-2 and the Cowboys at 4-4 and and Eagles loss at this point in the season would be a back breaker. In my opinion, the only way the Eagles get in the playoffs are to win the division and a loss tonight will put them 3 games behind the Giants.
Keys to victory
Eagles: The Eagles offense has been on a roll the last two games, showing great balance with the run and pass. Shady McCoy has carried the ball 58 times for 311 yards over the last two games, which is a big surprise coming from a Andy Reid led offense. The Eagles have only turned the ball over one time over the last two games and when they hold onto the ball, they are arguably the best offensive team in the NFL. The Eagles will have to protect Vick, continue to utilize the short passing game and feed McCoy. Also it would be nice to see a breakout game from DeSean Jackson tonight as well.
Bears: The Bears offense revolves around the all-around ability of Matt Forte, who is one of the more underrated players in all of football. Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz loves to pass the ball, but he will need to have more balance tonight if the Bears stand a chance against the Eagles front four. Jay Cutller has the ability to make any throw you would want a quarterback to make, but his offensive line needs to protect him and martz would help by calling more shorts passes. When Cutler has time, he can be very deadly. The Bears wide receivers aren’t the greatest group of players, but they do have speed and the ability to make plays down the field.
Eagles: The number one focus defensively for the Birds should be stopping Bears running back Matt Forte. He is the teams leading rusher and receiver and is responsible for a great amount of there offensive yards from scrimmage. The Eagles have been better against the run lately and they will definitely need to be on their A game tonight. Not only can Forte hurt you running the ball, but he has the ability the split out and run routes as good as a wide receiver. The Eagles linebackers will be tested tonight and they need to show up and play a solid game. The Bears like to pass the ball and the Eagles front four will have a opportunity to dominate and control the game upfront. If the Eagles can force Cutler into turning the ball over, they will easily win this game.
Bears: The Bears defense comes into this game ranked 28th in the league against the pass, 11th against the run, and 25th overall in yards allowed. They are usually a better team defensively against the pass, but this year they have little pass rush and have gave up plenty of big plays. If they stand any chance of slowing down the Eagles balanced attack, they must get pressure on Vick , and get off of the field on third downs. The Bears have also been one of the best teams in the league forcing turnovers since Lovie Smith has been coach, so Shady McCoy needs to be more careful with the ball tonight around Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs, whom are among the best in football in punching the ball loose.
Prediction: The Eagles offense is on a roll right now, hitting on all cylinders, and executing well at all facets of the game. I don’t see the Bears being able to stop them from scoring points and I can’t see the Bears putting up enough points to beat the Eagles at home. Expect a big night from the Birds defensive line, a defensive touchdown, and McCoy will close this game out in the fourth quarter. Eagles 31 Bears 17