• December 4, 2023

A Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears Perspective For 2011

This is the first in a series of articles analyzing how the Eagles stack up against the rest of the big boys in the NFC, this time we take a look at the Bears, who made it to the NFC Championship last season where they were beaten by division rivals and eventual Super Bowl winner the Green Bay Packers.

Of all the teams that have been mentioned as possible contenders this year, the prospect of the Bears’ upcoming season has been met with little attention or excitement, but let’s give them their due. They were, as stated above, in the championship game last year, and say what you want about Jay Cutler but he is the Bears’ starting quarterback, and any team missing their number one signal caller for much of the game is going to be at a disadvantage, which Chicago was against the Packers.

Key to the game: The Eagles will eventually face the Bears in week 7 this season, and when weighing both teams against each other, there are two things that come to mind. The Eagles D-line has significantly improved this year, and the Bears’ offensive line, well let’s just say they’re due for a lot of shape shifting. Right Guard Roberto Garza will be moving to the Center position with the Bears having release long time starter Olin Kreutz this summer. Meanwhile rookie Left Tackle Gabe Carimi won’t be playing at left tackle at all, that spot is now reserved for J’Marcus Webb, and conversely Carimi will now be plying his trade at Right tackle.

Now at the risk of belaboring this one aspect of this matchup, let’s just put this into perspective. The Eagles now have new additions Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins, on what was an already decent Eagles D-line, who will be rushing after Jay Cutler, who himself will be protected by a line that was already notorious giving up sacks. And now that the unit has been undergoing a musical chairs type change you can only expect that their issues would manifest themselves even more so against the Eagles.

It should be noted however, that Jay Cutler had a great game against the Eagles last year; the Bears won 31-26. But that win very much had the feel of it being an aberration. For one, Jay Cutler threw four touchdowns in that game, but you just have to think that such a feat will be extremely unlikely to happen again, especially when you consider the vast improvement of Eagles’ secondary, and the fact that Philly was missing Asante Samuel and Ellis Hobbs on the day.

Bears could win if: Matt Forte gets has a repeat performance against the Eagles. Now this may sound like a simple statement, but it really is important. The Eagles, for all the improvements they’ve made this summer, can be very suspect against the run, particularly when you get past that defense line. We saw against the Steelers how the linebackers have much to learn when it comes to limiting run yardage, and although that was “just a preseason” game, if those problems manifest themselves again, the Eagles will be in trouble against not just the Bears and but against other teams as well.

It also wouldn’t hurt if: Desean Jackson is subdued again. Limiting a big play threat like Jackson to 2 catches and 26 yards is a good result in coverage for any team.

Eagles could win if: Jason Babin could have a big game. In this potential matchup, Eagles fans should be looking for Babin to test rookie tackle Gabe Carimi, who, as mentioned, will be playing in a new position. Jay Cutler cut down on the interceptions last year but we all know that under pressure, the gun slinger will take gambles (see week 7 against the Redskins last season). With a secondary like the Eagles have now a good amount of rushes from Babin and company could really draw Cutler into one of his disastrous games.

It also wouldn’t hurt if, the Eagles’ linebackers shake off their reputation as being Philly’s Achilles heel. Greg Olsen is out of Chicago, and the Bears’ replacement is not as much of a pass catching threat as his predecessor. This could be a game in which the linebackers prove themselves worthy of being a significant part of the “Dream Team”.

The verdict: The Eagles would definitely come into this matchup as a heavy favorites and I would pick them to justify it in a matchup against the Bears. While Vick could have his troubles against the Bears defense again, the Eagles just look like a terrible match up for Jay Cutler’s style of play. I’d expect a few forced errors from the Bears and an Eagles’ win.

Joseph Milord

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August 23, 2011 7:57 pm

We’ll see! Hope you are right!

August 23, 2011 8:22 pm

Say what?

August 23, 2011 9:24 pm

A couple of weapons that are new for the Bears..
Remember this will be O/Coordinator Mike MArtz 2nd Season working with Cutler and the Bears and you know either way you slice the Bears will probably throw the ball more than past teams.. But the Bears did add RB Marion Barber to go with Pro-Bowler Matt Forte and also have a young and electric RB named Kalil Bell who could be dangerous in the open field.. (I expect the Bears to release Chester Taylor who has appeared to lost a step and will have a diffcult time making this Bear Roster)
I do agree trading TE Greg Olsen to the Panthers will come back to haunt the Bears for they lack any real athletic types who can stretch the field from that position, but the Bears defintiely updgraded their WR Corp by Adding Roy WIlliams and Sam Hurd who are both 6’3″ and give them that size they will need down in the Red-Zone, an under the radar pick-up was free-agent
WR D Sanzebacher from Ohio State who is one of those blue collar types who is not real big, not real fast, but just seems to catch everything thrown his way and will probably be the teams 5th WR an Special teamer..Returning at WR are the speedy Devin Herster and Johnny Knox to go along with their 3rd Down Specialist and hands guy, Edgar Bennet who is the Bears version of what Jason Avant is to the EAgles and makes the tough catches and is Cutlers security blanket.. If the Bears O/Line stays healthy (they have very little depth) and gels, this Offense can potentially be the Bears best Offense in some years time with a balanced Running,Short Passing and also the Deep Ball threat..
Next I will discuss the Changes the Bears made to an already good Defense

August 24, 2011 5:12 am

The additions the Eagles made on defense won’t mean much if you have a bafoon leading them.

The Eagles better put the right people on the field. As one of your writers reminded us, it took the steelers running over the eagles to get trotter on the field a few years ago.

They stuck with bunkly for so long because he was a number one draft pick. He never made any sacks, or got penetration. They played Ernie Sims all last year and he was pure, unfiltered garbage.

If Juan becomes a professional excuse machine like I heard the other day, the forget it. Chaney came in last year and we found out he could play. Either you have something in you or you don’t. These guys have been playing this game since they were 12 years old. Either you can shed blocks or you can’t.

Put the best players on the field. Not the ones you wish could play.

And that included that imitation football player Chad Hall. Too Small Too slow. Taking up a roster spot.

August 24, 2011 10:01 am

Now that the initial excitement of the flurry of free agent signings has died down and we have had a little bit of time to assess this team, I think we have to dial back our expectations. To be honest I felt that the Eagles had no chance to win the SB in 2011/12. I thought they had too many holes to fill all in one offseason. Then I got a little carried away and felt that they had a SB team with all those signings. In retrospect, the truth lies somewhere in between.
What were the holes? Well they desperately needed a RG and a RCB. They also needed definite pass rush help, better WILL and SAM LBs, and improvement at RT. In addition they needed to do much better job against the blitz as a team from the line to the QB to the receivers to the coaches.
So what did they do? They did a terrific job addressing RCB and the pass rush obviously. Although I’m not a big Babin fan. He was third choice for me after CJ and Edwards. He won’t get double figures this year. I’m thinking around eight sacks. But, Jenkins was a stunner so I can’t complain. Although I don’t think Cole will exceed twelve because he really is over rated as a pass rusher. I see Hargrove and Tapp as sleepers that could surprise and maybe Hunt if he makes the squad. AR will want to keep Teo but I hope Washburn will assert himself and insist Hunt is the better prospect. Overall they will definitely be better. And of course they got Nnamdi and DRC so the corners look good. They are in bad shape again at CB however if they trade Assante and one of the other two gets hurt. They absolutely won’t win a SB if two of those guys are not here and healthy going into the playoffs. I can guarantee that! They also drafted a LT in the first round and converted him to RG. It will be difficult for him to be good this year. They did get a great coach though and that will help but Watkins is probably an offseason away from making us forget the best days of Shawn Andrews.
What didn’t they do? Well we all know they made minimal effort at LB again. They let Stew walk, didn’t sign any FAs and didn’t draft anyone early. This team will be tapped out next year so they will be drafting a LB in the first or second round for a change. The LBs right now are not at all impressive. No one of them has made a play. Mathews will be a good player someday, but not this year and maybe not at the MIKE. I think we have all over rated Chaney a bit based on a tiny little body of work last year and Fokou is just average and always will be. And efforts to improve at RT are currently undecided. And our improvement against the blitz is undecided. But I am willing to bet anyone on this site that Vick will not have numbers as good as last year because he is “figured out” until he shows definitively otherwise.
SO we did about half of what we needed to do. We also subtracted some pieces that were better than what we replaced them with. Stew was better, Q was better and Akers was at least experienced if no longer clutch. And we definitely downgraded at QB2. We have also made some critical assumptions about players that we thought were very good on the roster. A Dixon, haven’t seen him. Chaney, does not look special to me yet. Nate Allen looks bad so far and now they are making excuses. The WRs. Avant is Avant. He’s a nice player, nothing great. They brought S Smith in because they wanted depth but thought they could do a little better than Avant truthfully. But he is hurt. Cooper is a non-factor. Just a white guy and we like to talk about white guys. Thats just Philly. D Jack is unhappy and won’t give full effort until he is (which is dumb because it hurts him as bad as it hurts the team) and Maclin had too many setbacks to improve upon last year and have his breakout season.
Bottom line: we have coaches that will help this thing improve as time goes by but don’t be surprised with a 1-2 start and a stumble out of the gate which may be all it takess to ground this thing. We won’t win a playoff game in the Super Dome or the Georgia Dome so being 10-6 will be a problem. I think we are the best in the division when it all shakes out but we are not a lock over Dal and NYG just yet. But who really cares about winning the NFC East again? The more I assess, there are still some more pieces missing and development that needs to take place, so unless everything just somehow falls into place and we have some luck, we are probably looking at NEXT year….again.

August 24, 2011 10:57 am

Nice analysis Jbird,

This Off-Season with having the Draft before Free-Agency and being able to Trades until after a new CBA, really tied the hands of all teams with some of their personnel moves.. Example if Eagles were confident that they would get DCR in a trade for Kolb and be able to sign Asmo, then they obviosuly would not have selected CB C Marsh with a 3rd Round Pick and could have used this for a LB/OL.. I did not have any issues with the Eagles cleaning house at thh LB Position and letting Bradley,Sims,Gaither all go elsewhere, but there were some pretty good LB’s in free-agency availalbe and they needed to lock 1 down who is familiar with this scheme, has some expereince and could be a mentor for all these young LB’s on the Roster.. This lack of having a quality,experienced LB (especially in the Middle) will be the achilles heel of this Defense I am afraid..

August 24, 2011 11:36 am

Paulman… thanks for the compliment. I agree about MLB. I think Chaney will be a good player because he has speed, confidence and attitude. Clayton could be a mid-season answer for the mediocre Fokou and Jordan may be able to step in should they rearrange things and go with Jordan at SAM, Chaney at MIKE and Clayton at WILL. They always make some changes after the bye. Like replacing Simoneau with Trot, McCoy with Gaither, Gaither with Jordan. I would not be at all surprised if Clayton is your second half starter on the weakside. They will draft a LB high next year because, frankly, that and RT will be their two most glaring needs along with possibly safety again. And they still may look at a veteran like Morrison. Please not Totupu because he’s a Holmgren guy! He is another hurt player that won’t stay on the field. The safeties will also be an issue but Jarrett may offer some help later in the year.
They really need to NOT waste a roster spot on B Graham his year. There are other guys like Colt Anderson and Donald Lee that can help this team more this year that I don’t want to see go. If RT sucks again this year, we will regret cutting Lee and keeping Clay Harbor. Neither he nor Celek can block worth a damn and I’d rather roll with two TEs and let Celek go out for passes than play with a FB or three WRs in our base set. Lee allows you to do that because he is an excellent blocker.
Like I said, I see a struggle with the Rams and a come from behind win there. They lose to Atl and NYG. Then we have the Niners and Bills to get back on track. But don’t sleep on Wash because I think they will have a better D than ours and we always check out before the bye and blow that game. It will be very important not to do that this year and start 3-3 with NYJ, NE, 2 with Dal and NYG againstill remaining. I don’t think they will win more than three of those so that would make five losses and there is always that game (like Ariz or Chic) that you wouldn’t expect to lose but you do. Like I said, 10-6 won’t get it done. I will address that next.

August 24, 2011 12:06 pm

For all you knuckle heads that want to say 10-6 is fine as long as we get in. You are absolutely dead wrong! Unless 10-6 somehow gets you a bye this year (which I believe has happened only once or twice since 1990), we will be screwed. Say we win the East and assume that will get you to the three slot over the NFC West winner. Maybe we get a nice little match with Detroit or Donovan in the first round. Yeah we would win that, but then we get Atl, NO or GB on the road. If we could somehow win against one of them do you think we turn around and do it again the next week against another one? Very unlikely unless we get some real lucky breaks and outstanding performances. Like Shady racking up two hundred AP yards and two TDs or Vick having a QB rating over 120. And of course the coaching would have to not suck like it did in Arizona three years ago.
Two teams in the 16-game era have won a SB with less than 11 wins. Last year’s Packers and the 2005 Steelers. Lets assess. The Steelers had the defense of the decade and the greatest D coordinator of all time running it. They also had a great line and smash mouth running game. They drew the Bengals (whom they owned) in the first round and promptly shredded their star QB’s knee very early in the game. Next they did have one tough opponent, the Colts. The Colts made too many mistakes and did not capitalize on Pit’s one BIG one and lost the game. The Steelers got the one they needed where they played well and the other team under performed. Next they got Denver (you know that one team every year that has a great record but they really aren’t that good. Yeah think of the 2002 Eagles or last year’s Bears.) Denver was that team and it showed. Easy win and then the Seahawks a team with no seasoning there for the first time. And guess what, the Steelers lost the game but the officials gave it to them anyway. So there is your first 10-6 champ.
Next up, the Pack. They had a terrific coaching staff, a great QB (not a guy who under achieved for six years, went to prison, redeemed himself, put together ten very good games, then fizzled down the stretch.) No a great QB that had numbers for THREE YEARS not ten games. And he had a TRUE #1 WR and a cast of other very good ones. Plus they had a very good defense that was outstanding against the pass with a one man wrecking crew at LB that terrorized opponents. Like they Steelers they got a first round opponent that was severely over matched. Yeah that would be us. Then they got two teams that were frauds with good records in Atl and Chic. I would have liked to see them play NO in the Super Dome. They probably wouldn’t be the champs right now. Then they played their one great game against a superior opponent (Pitt) like when Pitt beat the Colts in ’05. The rest was pretty easy. It fell just right.
Now GENIUSES, what similarities do you see between this year’s Philadelphia Eagles and those two teams that make you think 10-6 will get it done???????????????????????

August 24, 2011 12:28 pm

jbird – history has proven your entire argument wrong multiple times – Giants in 08 (10 wins) – Cardinals in 09 (NFC champs with 9 wins) – Tampa in 03 multiple times –
and hell – twice the eagles had home field the entire playoffs and didn’t pull it out.
Home field advantage, bye week etc. are counting for less and less – it is typically the team that 1) survives injury 2) gets hot or is peaking at playoff time and 3) gets lucky (I throw that in there because the Saints had NO business playing in that SB they won)

Now look, I predict right now the eagles will go 16-0 and win the SB – I do every year – and I will cheer for them to do so –

What is the purpose of your post – we lost a home playoff game last year to Green Bay? What inference are you making about regualr season results and playoff results –

August 24, 2011 1:03 pm

Just to spread a little cheer

COlts Sign the retired QB K Collins to handle QB duties until P Manning returns.. (I reported a few weeks back that Manning would be out for most of September and possibly even longer and that the COlts are in serious Trouble since they have no legitimate QB on their Roster behind Manning)

Not to pile on the Giants bad fortunes

DT M Austin a 2nd Rond Pick tore his pectoral muscle and will miss the entire season,
CB C Witherspoon a reserve CB thrusted into a Nickle Backs role due to other CB’s injuries tore his ACL and is out for the Sesaon (This is 4 CB’s injured for them this camp if anyone is keeping count)