The Monsters of the Midway appear to be back in Chicago as they prepare for their first playoff game since 2010. The Bears will host the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field. Both head coaches are familiar with each other, and this should be a terrific matchup.
Chicago came out of nowhere this season to win the NFC North. The Bears finished the regular season with a 12-4 record, and have won nine of their previous ten games. Philadelphia looked dead just a few weeks ago, but rallied to grab the sixth and final playoff spot in the NFC. The Eagles finished the regular season with a 9-7 record. Chicago is -6.0 over Philadelphia in the Wild Card Round.
Mack Leading Bears Defense
The addition of Khalil Mack has turned a good Bears defense into the best unit in the NFL. Mack racked up 12.5 sacks and forced six fumbles during the regular season, and his presence has helped to elevate everyone around him. Chicago leads the NFL with 36 takeaways and six defensive touchdowns this season, and they have the ability to completely shut down an opponent. The Bears gave up just 17.7 points per game this season, and they will be ready for this game.
Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky still has plenty of room for improvement, but the Bears offense can score in a variety of ways. Running back Tarik Cohen accounted for almost 1,200 yards on offense this season, and Jordan Howard nearly ran for 1,000. If Trubisky can avoid sacks and turnovers on Sunday afternoon, this version of the Bears team will be hard to beat.
Foles Hoping For More Magic
Backup quarterback Nick Foles seems to have some magic when it comes to big moments. Foles was named the MVP of last season’s Super Bowl, and the Eagles offense runs more smoothly with him behind center. Tight end Zach Ertz is the top playmaker for Philadelphia, catching 116 passes for over 1,100 yards this season. Veteran running back Darren Sproles is always dangerous with the ball in his hands, but you can expect the Bears to key on these two players. The Eagles did give up 40 sacks during the regular season, and their offensive line will need to protect Foles against Mack and his teammates.
The Eagles defense doesn’t get the same attention as the Bears do, but their defensive line can be just as disruptive. Fletcher Cox and Kyle Long combined for 17 of the Eagles 44 sacks this season, and they could make life difficult for Trubisky in this game. Philadelphia gave up close to 22 points per game during the regular season but pitched a shutout in the season finale. The Eagles front seven against a young Bears offensive line could be a key in this game.
Bears Win By A Touchdown
Giving the Eagles 6.0 points seems like a lot heading into this game, but Philadelphia really didn’t play well all season long. Their season should have ended already, but they were able to sneak into the field. Nick Foles has been playing great at QB, but he hasn’t seen a defense like Chicago yet this season.
The Bears defense has been completely shutting down opponents all season, and they will do the same to the Eagles on Sunday. Head coach Matt Nagy has enough unique play calls to put his young QB in position to make plays. The Bears will score enough points to cover at home in this game. Bet the Chicago Bears -6.0 over the Philadelphia Eagles.