The Chicago Bears (4-3) will be traveling to Philadelphia to throw-down with the Eagles (3-4) on Monday Night Football, in a heated week nine matchup. The Bears are looking to keep their two-game winning streak alive, and continue to contend in a rigid NFC North. Likewise, Philadelphia is currently riding a two-game winning streak, and are looking to keep on pace with the division leading New York Giants.
Here are five bold predictions for the Bears vs. Eagles Monday Night Game:
5. Philadelphia’s Defensive Line Will Sack Jay Cutler at Least Five Times
This is almost a given. The Eagles have a monster defensive line, with Jason Babin and Trent Cole on the ends, and Cullen Jenkins up the middle. Chicago has a really tough time protecting Jay Cutler and it seems like on every drop back he takes a shot. Philadelphia has really turned up their pressure on the quarterback the last two weeks, and with the current NFL leader in sacks rushing the Bears’ offensive line, it should be a rough game for Cutler.
Comine the already stacked defensive line talent with a new found confidence in the secondary, and Cutler could even start to see some agressive linebacker blitzes. Really leaving Cutler no option but to force throws, or to take a sack.
4. Jay Cutler Will Throw at Least One Interception
This prediction goes together with the Eagles defensive line getting pressure, and for Cutler to throw an interception, the first prediction must come true. However, it has been proven that when teams play the Bears, if Cutler is under pressure and is taking consistent shots, he gets anxious in the pocket and makes poor reads. This was more true last season, and this year Cutler has been slightly more careful with the ball; through eight weeks only throwing six interceptions.
But Philadelphia’s secondary has been very opportunistic this season. Both Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel have stepped up their game, and Kurt Coleman has turned into quite the ball-hawk, and they will be waiting for Cutler to force a pass downfield.
3. Michael Vick Will Scramble For Around 70 Yards
The Chicago Bears defense has some talented playmakers. Although, they lack a defender that will have the ability to contain and control Michael Vick on broken plays when he elects to scramble. The top defenses in the NFL have struggled getting Vick on the ground once he decides to run, and the Bears just don’t have the talent in the front seven to contain him all game. Even though Vick is trying to only scramble on plays when it is totally needed, you can bet that Andy Reid will toss in one or two designed quarterback runs.
Philadelphia has attempted to give Vick some designed runs earlier this season, but have not found much success. Against an aging and slower Bears front seven, Vick should be able to expose them and get good yardage on the ground.
2. DeSean Jackson Will Make Some Noise
Considering that DeSean Jackson is playing for a new contract this season, he has been miserably inconsistent. With games where he has had receiving yardage in the 100′s, and others where he finishes with only one catch. Last week against Dallas, Jackson had a below-average game with three catches for 31 yards, but he seems to play much better in bigger games. I fully expect him to explode this game against the Bears average secondary and prove that he is worthy of that new contract.
Given that there are talks now of letting Jackson walk after this season, he should be feeling the heat and be ready to make an impact on Monday night.
1. Andy Reid’s Play-Calling Will Be Solid Throughout
During the Eagles poor opening stretch of the season, there were a lot of questions being raised about Andy Reid’s play-calling, and what exactly he was trying to do with the team. But following the Eagles blow-out of the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, where the play-calling was perfect throughout, the talks have quieted down. Reid was coming off of a bye week against Dallas, and he is infamous for being perfect when having an extra week to practice, but I see the same result carrying into this week.
Philadelphia is finally starting to look like the team they were supposed to be all season, and the Bears are as inconsistent as ever. A big fraction of the Eagles success in this game will be balanced on which Chicago team shows up on Monday night, and also if Philadelphia can continue to play like they have the last two weeks. Philly looks like they are finally starting to play like a winning team, and I can see the momentum from their big division win last week carrying over into this game.
Chicago Bears 17 – Philadelphia Eagles 27