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The Three Potential Opponents: Volume One

| January 3rd, 2011

Fantasy Playoffs start this week with a chance to win a guest column this offseason.  For Rules & Regulations, check here.  You’ll be able to select your players starting Friday morning.

Now we begin breaking down the reasons why the Chicago Bears would and would not want to face their three potential opponents in the Divisional Round of the postseason.  We’ll start with the City of Brotherly Love But No Love For Your Brother’s Basset Hound.

#3 Seed
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Why?
  1. We enter the game with the confidence of having beaten them soundly for 90% of our earlier-season contest and if not for a borderline miracle touchdown pass by Terrier Vick into triple coverage, the score would have reflected the one-sidedness better.
  2. I doubt Beagle Vick’s ability to come to Chicago in the middle of January and be productive in frigid temperatures.  I haven’t trusted him in conditions since those images on the sideline in 2005 on the fated night of Rex Grossman’s reemergence which featured him draped in blankets and looking like he was preparing to eat his teammates to survive.  Add to the mix that Dachshund Vick has been taking a beaten, a big beaten, over his past two starts and you have the make-up of a meltdown.
  3. The Bears defensive structure/turf is devised to contain the Eagles primary strength: downfield speed.  It already worked once.
  4. Matt Forte delivered his finest performance of the year against the Eagles, 14-for-117, and the Bears are a dynamic offense when he’s running at 8.4 yards a clip.
  5. Andy Reid.  I know he’s got a lot of fans out there but I continue to contend that Reid is one of the worst in-game coaches in the sport and the bigger the stage the more Reid looks like an obscenely-large deer in the headlights.  There are reasons they’ve never won a championship during this era.  One is current the third-string QB in Washington.  The other is still the head coach.
Why Not?
  1. Asante Samuel is a game-changing corner and the Bears avoided him on the first go-round.  Samuel is the kind of player who can find ways to trick our chance-taking quarterback into untimely mistakes and the Eagles may follow the Packers model of using him on edge blitzes.
  2. Our coverage units simply are not as good as they used to be (still waiting for anyone to provide reasons) and DeSean Jackson is capable of scoring every time he touches the ball.
  3. Big playoff games in poor conditions are moments for big kickers and the only kicker trusted by his team more than Robbie Gould is probably David Akers.  Akers can confidently line up, in any conditions, and knock em through from fifty plus.
  4. With all due respect to Michael Turner, LeSean McCoy is the conference back I most fear in the postseason.  He’s physical, he’s quick and he catches the ball brilliantly out of the backfield.  The Bears have shown a penchant for arm-tackling backs of late and that won’t fly here.
  5. Brent Celek.  He had only 3-for-50 and a TD (on a miracle toss) but Celek is the type of tight end that has killed the Lovie Deuce scheme for years.  If Celek gets free in the seam, it could make for a long day.
Tomorrow we preview the #5 seed New Orleans Saints.

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