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Wildcard Weekend Game Preview: Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

| January 3rd, 2019

“Playoffs? You’re talking about…playoffs?”

-Jim Mora

“Yes.”

-Me


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears…

…and I’m no longer going to deny what I’m seeing with my eyes. This is a very, very good Bears team. And they have been absolutely dominant in their building.

Also, this is the last time the Bears will be favored this season, barring the Saints being upset in the divisional round. A win Sunday puts something of a exclamation point on the regular season success.


The Playoff Pastoral

The shepherd wears a visor,

and walks within the cool, charming breezes of the lake.

His flock are bears, 

and with a tap of his crook on the wintry terrain,

and a rapturous “BOOM”,

he calls upon them to defend their hallowed home from feathered foes.

And in the placid peace of victory, the shepherd sleeps.


Why the Bears Win

  • NFC’s worst secondary. Philly has sacked the quarterback 44 times this season but when they don’t get home they are the conference’s worst pass defense. This is not the kind of game Matt Nagy is going to attempt to grind out on the ground with Jordan Howard. This is a game to attack the back end of the Eagles defense, which includes former Bears like Cre’Von LeBlanc and Corey Graham.
  • The Defense. The Bears are giving up 17.5 points per game at home but those numbers are skewed by (a) New England’s special teams scores and (b) a shit load of garbage time points throughout the season. Nick Foles has breathed life into the Eagles offense but they have not played a defense this talented, well-coached and explosive because there isn’t another defense this talented, well-coached and explosive.
  • Soldier Field. Bears are 7-1 at home. But here’s the weird part of that run: they really weren’t even pushed in the seven victories. The Packers kept it close. The Seahawks put up some late points. But only the Patriots – who won the game on specials – even threatened to beat the Bears on the lakefront. The Bears do everything better at home.

Why They Don’t

  • Trubisky inaccuracy/turnovers. Barring weather conditions, the Bears should be expected to throw more Sunday than they have in recent games. That means Trubisky has to be both (a) accurate and (b) careful with the football. Turnovers are almost always the difference in the postseason.

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