Know Your Enemy – CHI (plus more)

Posted: November 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 32 Comments »

First, for SB Nation Philly I wrote about the Eagles running game and how it has evolved over time. Did you ever think the Eagles would lead the NFL in rushing and Shady would be 2nd?  Now onto the Bears.

* * * * *



Team has won 2 games in a row (MIN, TB).

Bears are 0-2 in true road games.  They beat the Bucs in London (Tampa was the home team), but that isn’t the same as playing in a team’s home stadium with a crazy crowd.

OFFENSE    16th in yards, 13th in points

DEFENSE    23rd in yards, 13th in points

The Bears are very tough to evaluate.  They looked terrific in the season opener as they dominated the Falcons.  Chicago then lost 3 of 4 and looked awful at times.  Mike Martz made some adjustments on offense and the team has won the last 2.

Last week they had a bye so the players could get over any jet lag from the trip to London.  I have no idea what to expect from them.  The good Bears are a very tough team.  The bad Bears would be fun to play against, especially for the DL.


Jay Cutler is the QB, but Matt Forte is the offense.  Matt leads the team in rushing and receiving (catches, targets, yards).  Interestingly…he’s only scored 3 TDs (2 rushing, 1 receiving).  Forte has good size and is a very skilled RB.  Good athlete.  Runs hard, but isn’t just a workhorse.  Averages 5.4 yards per carry and has 9 runs of more than 20 yards.  Gifted receiver with 5 catches of more than 20 yards.

Cutler goes as his OL goes.  When he’s got time, Jay can be a dangerous QB.  He has a great arm and can be deadly accurate.  He’s a good athlete that can throw on the move and create plays.  Jay struggles under pressure and at times will force the ball into coverage.  Jay has only completed 59 percent of his passes.  He has been sacked 21 times and has thrown 6 INTs.

The O-line is getting better.  Lance Louis has taken over at RT and that’s somewhat stabilized the group.  There is no Pro Bowl player on the line, but the guys are playing as a group and coming together well.

The Bears have a receiving corps in the truest sense of the word.  Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, Roy Williams, and Dane Sanzenbacher all do their part, but none of them has more than 21 catches.  There is no go-to guy.  Oddly, Sanzenbacher leads them in TD catches with 3.  They get him on a slot DB and Dane uses quickness to get open.


The Bears D was terrific last year, but has really slipped off this season.  The Safety play was terrible, but then Chris Harris was cut and Brandon Meriweather benched.  The defense has improved since then, but it does also help that they played MIN and TB, a pair of teams that aren’t exactly lighting it up.

DE Julius Peppers is the key guy up front.  He only has 4 sacks, but still requires a lot of attention.  He can make game-changing plays at any given moment.

The LBs are still very good with Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs leading the way.  Briggs leads the team in tackles and Urlacher has 3 INTs this year.

The secondary is more of a mystery.  Peanut Tillman is still a solid vet.  He’s 2nd on the team in tackles and has 2 FFs.  Nickelback DJ Moore has 3 INTs and is a big time playmaker.  He’s just got a nose for the ball.


Robbie Gould remains a top flight PK.

Adam Podlesh is the Punter and is okay.

Devin Hester is the big story.  He is the best RS in the league and arguably the greatest RS of all time.  He already has a KOR and PR TD this year.  When they want to give him a break, Knox can be an explosive KOR.

* * * * *

A lot of people point to the fact we’ve lost 3 of 4 to the Bears.  We beat them in 2009 and then lost a tough game last year, but didn’t have our best players.  Asante Samuel missed the game so we had Dimitri Patterson, Trevard Lindley, and Joselio Hanson as our CBs.

The Bears hurt us up the middle on offense.  Todd Herremans didn’t have a good game and Mike McGlynn and Nick Cole really struggled.

We’ve got the best set of CBs in the league now and have a whole new interior line in place.

* * * * *

For those who might have missed it, Marshall Faulk put out something dumb on Twitter the other day.  Jimmy over at Blogging the bEast covered it pretty well.

Faulk was a really bright player.  He mastered the playbook and could be like a coach on the field.  I’m shocked at what a poor analyst he is.  Maybe he doesn’t take TV as seriously as he took football.  I think too many ex-players and coaches are like that.  They just expect us to take their “wisdom” and say thank you.  They get freaked out when we question it and they find out fans know a lot more than they expected.

32 Comments on “Know Your Enemy – CHI (plus more)”

  1. 1 Tyler Phillips said at 1:32 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Aaaaaaaahmad Bradshaw out indefinitely w Broken foot…again

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 3:28 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Ehm, no..!

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 3:30 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Schefter is reporting that he is still likely to play.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 2:04 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Hey tommy I have 2 random questions- On game days who do the eagles have sitting in the booth? I know other teams have D and/or O coordinators in the booth and I remember Brad Childress sat up there at the end of his tenure, but I was wondering who is up there now. Secondly why was Duce moved to special teams quality control coach? That seems like a demotion from running backs where he was last year. Does he unofficially help advise shady and the other runnings backs? Thanks so much.

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 5:04 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Ted Williams has been the RBs coach since 1995.

    Duce is learning how to coach. I think Andy is moving him around and trying to give Duce an education. He’s helping various coaches and doing different things to get as much exposure as possible.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 11:09 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    I think I saw a video of Shady on the sideline and Duce was giving him feedback. The mic’d up with Shady on

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 5:07 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    The last time we had a coordinator upstairs was JJ when he was sick in the 2008 playoffs.

    Most OCs/DCs are on the field so they can communicate face to face with the players. I don’t care where guys sit. Do what works for you.

  8. 8 Yuri said at 2:06 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    As a Chicago resident, I have to say that the Bears may be even more of an up-and-down team than the Eagles–they can blow out anyone, especially at home, and can lose to anyone also. As I don’t care much about them, I do not know of any good Bears news/analysis source–the local media compared to Philly is a little easier on the team but less thorough and competent. Here are some of my own brief observations.

    I am impressed with Cutler. Mind you, don’t think that it was a good deal in what the Bears gave to the Broncos, but he does have P. Manning-like ability to compensate for O-line deficiency in a different way (avoid the rusher, sprint sideways… throw down the sideline). Yes I think the O-line still sucks, though getting rid of Kreutz was an excellent move. Wide receivers are as good as Cutler–OK but nothing special. I think Tommy does not give enough credit to Matt Forte–this is the guy you want to stop, and actually to run-blitz (as before, you can get to Cutler “naturally”).

    I agree with Tommy’s observation in another post that the D plays hard every snap. Also I think the defense is playing much better than one would have expected, especially the LBs (I cannot believe that Urlacher is doing as well as he is after so many years). So I hope that the Eagles might experience some regression to the mean from the Bears D.

    Special teams are great as they have always been. Clear Bears advantage (but we have Colt Anderson!). Also, Devin-Hester-as-receiver has most definitely become a better full player which does not seem to distract him from return duty magic.

    Lovie Smith is a similar coach to Reid in that he is even-tempered in times good and bad, and players want to play for him.

    I am optimistic about our chances because I can’t forget the 1st quarter of Bears @Lions on MNF… most atrocious quarter of football by 2 teams in recent memory!

  9. 9 Mac said at 2:09 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    I still break out in cold sweats thinking about those nasty globs of “football field” flying everywhere.

    Revenge is a dish best served cold. Perhaps it is for the best that we didn’t get to face the Bears again in the playoffs. Time to turn on the A/C and cook some hot dogs because I’m going to relish this game.

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 5:05 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Playing on that cow pasture last year didn’t help us.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 5:45 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    I was watching the game with my roommate who’s a Bears fan and barely halfway through the 1st quarter he was already telling me to shut up about the field. Being the visiting team I hate that place but if I was a Bears fan I’d love it, really is the true definition of home-field advantage.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 11:02 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    It would be nice to give the bears a nice dose of the the most hated/feared field again… veteran’s stadium.

  13. 13 Mac said at 11:21 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Haha… that would be real payback.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 2:52 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Eagles 31, Bears 21

    Eagles: 7 sacks

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 3:26 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Look, there’s a statue of Jay Cutler. No, that’s Jay Cutler scrambling. 8 sacks!

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 4:07 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Look up in the sky, it’s a bird or a plane. No that’s The hunter sacking Cutler for the 9th sack of the game.

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 8:01 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Cutler scrambles and dives out of bounds, and into Reid, trying to preserve time in a comeback attempt that is as desperate as it is futile. Reid credited with the 10 sack of the day.

  18. 18 Mac said at 2:58 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Last week they had a bye
    Urlacher in London eats Pizza Pie

    Their O-line looks bad
    Their O-line looks great
    Jay Culter’s a QB
    People love to hate

    Forte does account
    For te Bears offensive yards
    And Hester’s no Jester
    Sing the old football bards

    A cold northern team
    With a sunny southern D
    Peppered with sacks
    not much this defense Urlacks

    The key for me
    Is easy to see
    With Cole and Babin
    And a man name Nnamdi

    They flew in with sacks
    And picked off the pass
    On the way to an
    Eagles Vick-tory

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 5:06 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Nicely done.

    Next time work in Derek Landri and I can get you published.

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 3:28 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Tommy, have you heard anything to indicate whether Reid appreciates the rushing offense he has this year? I hope he stays a balanced O attack, but he’s been so pass-obsessed in the past that I wonder if he’ll find a way to screw this up.

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 3:29 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    In the first 5 games, RB and TE killed the Eagles. The last two games, the Eagles D stepped up and showed that they can stop TEs.

    Now half the world thinks they going to the SB. I thought those two games were encouraging but both those teams lacked a premier RB to test the defense.

    I think this game is a better indicater of how they will be the rest of the season beacuse of Forte. He is very good and he is not just a runner. He can kill a team in the passing game as well.

    Additionally, as games go, this game is no less important than the last. Win and the team will finally be at 0.500. Lose and they are two games in the hole again.

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 4:33 PM on November 3rd, 2011:


    i read somewhere that the tampa 2 defense that the bears run was designed to stop the WCO. last week, we moved the ball at will with short passes across the middle and runs. how exactly is their defense set up to defend this? do we expect any changes on our side to combat this?

  23. 23 Anders Jensen said at 5:32 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    The tampa 2 was designed to stop the Niners version of the WCO, but we no longer and havnt used the Niners version, but a more spread like formations and a few of Jacksons long TDs have been plays designed to beat the tampa 2.

    Also the best weapon against the Bears defense is a slot receiver or TE down the middle with some play action.

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 9:18 AM on November 4th, 2011:

    cool, thanks man.

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 10:51 PM on November 3rd, 2011:


    I am finally coming out of a posting coma. What I had been foreseeing for weeks finally came together. I never came down on the Eagles through the drought since nothing made sense collectively. There was no logic to it. Aspects had reasoning, but at a whole… no conclusive explanation as to whom is to blame had a true argument, I’ve been fooled into the abyss before by Reid and company. Reid has proved me wrong multiple times during the first half of the season when I was ready to throw in the white towel. The company Reid has now has the potential to be something special, and if the Eagles make the playoffs, they should be the most feared team in the playoffs. Most recent example of playing with the fighting edge going into the playoffs… Cards… Packers

  26. 26 Mac said at 11:27 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Yeah, and I think the Giants had that same kind of edge when they were a wild card during their most recent SB run.

    Last year the Eagles seemed to hit some kind of wall. That wild card game vs. the Packers could have easily been won, but to my eyes it just didn’t look like the Eagles came to play. It smacked of playing to avoid losing rather than playing to win.

    I hope, hope, hope this team is getting a nasty, feisty kind of edge to it. The Eagles I have always loved seem to play better in the under dog role.

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 11:42 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    i believe the steelers won the sb after playing all playoff games on the road . there is a toughness required to succeed.

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 11:45 PM on November 3rd, 2011:

    Can’t wait for Monday night. Getting to 4-4 would be great.

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 12:25 AM on November 4th, 2011:

    it is a necessary catapult. An Esgles win and gman loss will solidify the changing of the guard.

  30. 30 Brian said at 12:57 AM on November 4th, 2011:

    As far as I can tell, this is just about the worst possible match-up for our defense. Great RB, horrible WRs going up against our great CBs and horrible LBs. They’re gonna feed Forte all game, and I’m not sure we’ll to be able to stop him.

    If the Eagles have half a brain, they’re gonna have 8 men in the box all game. Let our CBs go 1 on 1 with their WRs so that we can focus the rest of the defense on stuffing the run.

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 4:10 AM on November 4th, 2011:


    I strongly believe that the next 3 games will say a lot about where our Eagles are headed this season. If they can win all of them against NFC teams they will have a pretty shot at controlling and winning the NFC East without the help of others.

    However should they lose to the Bears on Monday night they will most likely have no chance to overcome a 3-5 record and a terrible conference record with lost tiebreakers to the Falcons and Bears.

    That being said this is a must win game for the Eagles, again!

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 11:00 AM on November 4th, 2011:

    Off topic – Tommy- in the game between the Pats and Steelers last week – in your opinion – what should have been called when Polamalu punched the ball into the end zone – was that legal?