Chicago @ Philadelphia
A few weeks ago this looked like yet another opportunity for the vaunted Eagles team to mess the bed in what would be a nationally
televised embarrassment, and possibly even the death knell for Andy Reid’s coaching career in Philly. But now, the Eagles finally… finally… look like the team everyone was expecting them to be, coming off a pasting of the Dallas Cowboys that didn’t even look as close as the 34-7 score would indicate. The Cowboys are a talented team and really aren’t a slouch, considering they did take the Patriots down to the wire in Foxboro just a couple of weeks before. Still aren’t deserving of the “Dream Team” mantra that they were shackled with at the beginning of the season, but they also aren’t a laughing stock anymore either… so that’s progress.
Michael Vick and the Eagles can make another step toward asserting their NFC dominance by dispatching a decent but not inspiring Bears team, who might be able to hand with the Eagles for a quarter or two, but don’t have near the talent to stay with them in the long haul. Vick will probably get hit often in this one, and not because he isn’t Tom Brady or Drew Brees, but because the Bears just like to put the screws to QBs that like to run around outside the pocket. Unfortunately getting hits on the quarterback doesn’t translate to passing game success, as the Bears rank a pretty sad 27th
against the pass, which means Vick should be able to get the ball down the field early and often to Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. The Bears are strong against the rush tough (10th
overall), so don’t expect huge yardage totals by Lesean McCoy, and this could very well be the week he doesn’t get a score… which would be a first this year. McCoy is a monster for fantasy though, especially in PPR leagues, so don’t be scared to start him here… while 120 and 2 TDs probably isn’t going to happen, getting 90 total and a touch isn’t too shabby.
While the Bears haven’t been very good at all with the passing game, with Jay Cutler being hit more times than a Pinata on Cinco de Mayo, they have been good in the running game, which is where the Eagles have been weak this season. While the Eagles have shored things up by closing up their “wide-9” defense, they are still susceptible to getting up the field too quickly, which means lots of screen passes to Matt Forte being dropped in behind him. While Forte might struggle to get to 100 yards rushing against this new version of the Eagles defense, he could very well have close to 150 total yards due to his ability to catch out of the backfield. Forte has a good chance of getting a score, but Marion Barber has been vulturing a few TDs of late, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Forte just got the yards while Barber got the score.
QB Michael Vick, RB Lesean McCoy, WR Desean Jackson, WR Jeremy Maclin, RB Matt Forte
Middle of the Road:
TE Brent Celek, WR Jason Avant
QB Jay Cutler, any and all Bears WRs