Jay Cutler and the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears (8-6) travel to the Philadelphia Eagles to take on Nick Foles and the NFC East-leading Eagles (8-6) on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Yes, this game was flexed into golden goose for the peacock. The two biggest markets with a NFL team still alive for the postseason (NY, LA, Hou all eliminated) and a chance for those two big market teams to possibly clinch their divisions.
QB Nick Foles and RB LeSean McCoy have flourished in head coach Chip Kelly’s offense, and examine how the Philadelphia defense will attempt to stop the Bears’ offensive weapons, including RB Matt Forte and WRs Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
Chip Kelly sort of endorses The Sports Bank. No really he did. At the Rose Bowl postgame press conference no less. Read that tale here.
SPREAD: Chicago Bears are 3 point dogs, over/under is 56.6
Chicago Bears preview:
The Bears control the NFC North and their division title chances. With a win against the Eagles on Sunday, and losses by both the Lions and Packers, Chicago will clinch their division. The Bears could also win the NFC North with a win over the Eagles on Sunday, and a victory against the Packers on December 29.
The Eagles are in control of the NFC East and can also wrap up their division on Sunday night. With a win against the Bears and a loss by the Cowboys, Philadelphia will clinch the NFC East. The Eagles can also win the NFC East with a victory on Sunday night, and a win against the Cowboys on December 29. The Eagles have the NFL’s top rushing offense and rank second in the league in total offense. In addition, QB Nick Foles has the NFL’s best passer rating (117.0), and RB LeSean McCoy leads the league in rushing yards (1,343).
Is Lance Briggs going to play or what? He’s optimistic. And he’s getting there, but nothing’s official yet. And with Peanut Tillman out for the season, this defense needs him now more than ever. Remember when he was supposed to be gone only 4-6 weeks, and he said he’d return after three? He hasn’t seen game action since October 20th!
Philadelphia Eagles preview:
“This game is going to be about defense. Which one of these defenses is finally going to be able to stand up and make plays? Chicago has not been good about the run all year. The Eagles have LeSean McCoy, who can put up yards like mad if you are not tackling well.” – Tony Dungy
“about the run” Mr. Dungy?? They’re dead last against the run! And now they’re facing the most productive rusher in football. Not tough to size this one up and everything kind of flows from there.
“The one advantage the Chicago Bears have is their big physical receivers. Cutler can just drop back, throw the ball up there and let those 6’4” and 6’5” guys go up and get the ball. I know Eagles QB Nick Foles has struggled, but I don’t really worry about him. He’s a quality quarterback, but I do worry about the Eagles defense.” – Rodney Harrison
Of course, a lot of Rodney’s opinions and ideas are rather…….well, accuracy and insight aren’t exactly his strong points. I don’t know what Harrison truly brings to the punditry table, but it’s not that.
Brutally honest record: 76-33
Brutally honest pick Eagles 33, Chicago Bears 28
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the country; with regular weekly segments on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and RSS Catch him Tuesdays talking Illini and Northwestern for KOZN 1620 The Zone, Fridays talking Chicago Bears for WAOR 95.7 The FanPowered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks