Facing a Great Defense

Posted: January 2nd, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Facing a Great Defense

On Sunday the Eagles will face the top scoring defense in the NFL. The Bears also led the league in run defense and takeaways. They might not be the ’85 Bears, but this is a great defense.

A year ago the Eagles took on the Vikings great defense in the postseason. Minnesota allowed the fewest points and yards, while having a historically good third down defense. It was the best in 50 years. You may remember the Eagles piling up 456 yards and scoring 38 points on that unit.

I don’t see the Eagles dominating the Bears on Sunday. The offense isn’t as good this year. But you don’t have to score 38 points. You just have to score more than Chicago. Can the Eagles have success against this defense?

A lot of this boils down to protection.

Go back and watch Sunday’s game between the Bears and Vikings. It was men against boys. Kirk Cousins will never be mistaken for Joe Montana, but he stood no chance in that game. The pocket just collapsed over and over. His interior linemen were driven back into his face. The tackles couldn’t control the speed rushers coming off the edge.

The Vikings could have tried to run more, but that wasn’t working either. They had 15 carries for 63 yards. The problem is that 30 yards came on two carries. Other than that, 13 for 33 yards.

So Minnesota couldn’t run or pass. Aside from that, things went swimmingly.

The Eagles have a better O-line than the Vikings and that makes a big difference. The Eagles faced Aaron Donald, J.J. Watt and Ryan Kerrigan in recent weeks and kept them all under control. Jadaveon Clowney did put on a show, but he went up against Big V. The Eagles starting OL can block the Bears.

That said, you never know what happens in a given game. Chicago’s front seven was the best I’ve seen them all year in Sunday’s game. They just couldn’t be blocked. They would have given plenty of OL’s a problem with that performance. Still, in a must-win game, Minnesota put up 164 yards and 10 points. That’s pathetic.

If the Eagles can’t block the Bears, forget about it. That group is very talented on the back end as well. Houston had studs up front, but their DBs struggled to cover receivers, especially downfield. That’s not the case with Chicago. Their back seven can lock you down.

This isn’t just a collection of athletes. These guys are smart and disciplined. They understand route concepts and how to shut down a passing game. Every time a pass went to a Vikings receiver, there seemed to be two or three Bears there to hit him shortly after the ball arrived. I was incredibly impressed by how they flew around and covered so much ground. Imagine watching the Eagles play fourth quarter defense…it was the exact opposite of that.

The Bears only allowed two teams to finish with 300 yards passing all year long. Two more broke the 250-yard mark. That’s impressive.

Doug Pederson and the offensive staff have their work cut out for them. Nick Foles and his teammates have their work cut out for them. Sunday is going to be a huge challenge.

If the Eagles can win up front, they have a chance to move the ball and score some points.

*****

Good news on Foles.

A big shot to the ribs/chest area is going to hurt you more than anything else. If Foles can deal with the pain, it shouldn’t have a dramatic effect on his performance.

Foles is red hot right now so it will be interesting to see if this does affect him in some way.

The best defense in the NFC going against the hottest QB in the NFL. That sounds like one heckuva matchup.

*****

This streak has to end some time, right?

Or does it?

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