By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Eagles insist the Minnesota loss is behind them. It had better be by Sunday night.
One week after being upset by the Vikings, the Eagles will face a much more formidable foe this weekend at the Linc. The Chicago Bears come to town with an 8-6 record. Just like the Eagles, the Bears are fighting for first place in their division. Chicago also possesses one of the most balanced offenses in the league and Chip Kelly knows he defense will be tested.
“The first thing that jumps out is the talent at receiver,” said Kelly. “You have two really big guys that have great range and can go get it. Even when they’re covered one on one, it doesn’t mean they are covered. Then they’ve got maybe the most complete back when you look at (Matt) Forte in terms of his pass pro pickup, his ability to beat a receiver out of the backfield, then his ability to run.”
The Eagles defense had a difficult day against a Vikings’ squad missing it’s top two running backs. Now, the Eagles will face the high-powered Chicago offense. The Bears ranked seventh in the league in total offense and fifth in passing. Wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery have both eclipsed the 1,000 yard receiving mark. However, Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans is confident the defense has corrected it’s mistakes from last Sunday.
“It wasn’t so much the things they (the Vikings) did,” Ryans said. “It was still mostly mistakes that we made. Those things are correctable.”
While Chicago’s offense is capable of putting up plenty of points, the Bears defense has had problems stopping opposing offenses. The Bears’ rushing defense is last in the NFL and Running Back LeSean McCoy is hoping to lead the way for his team Sunday night.
“I feel like in this game I have to put the offense on my back,” said McCoy. “I think me and the guys up front have to set the tone.”
The Eagles hold a one-game lead over the Cowboys in the NFC East. If Dallas beats Washington Sunday afternoon, the game between the Eagles and Cowboys on December 29 will decide the division no matter what happens this Sunday night.
But Eagles such as Offensive Lineman Evan Mathis are tired of hearing questions about the Eagles not going all out for a victory if the Cowboys win on Sunday.
“I think we’re going to cancel the game and invite the Bears to a movie,” Quipped Mathis. “We haven’t heard anything about that, so that means it’s business as usual.”
Even if the Cowboys win on Sunday, the Eagles-Bears game could affect playoff seedings. If the Eagles beat both the Bears and Cowboys, they would be the three seed in the NFC. A loss to Chicago and a win over Dallas the following week would mean the Eagles would be a four seed.