PHILADELPHIA, PA –
The Philadelphia Eagles finished the regular season as one of the NFL’s hottest offenses and now invade Chicago to take on the Bears and their stout defense. The Eagles, who have won five of their last six games, are hoping to pull off the upset against a Bears team who has won nine of their last 10. Here’s what to watch for Sunday:
1 -Eliminate the Bears running backs: The Chicago Bears have two very good running backs in Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard. They have combined for 2,249 all-purpose yards this season and are major threats both rushing and catching the ball. The Eagles need to shut them down and mitigate their versatility.
2 – Make Mitch win the game: Mitch Trubisky has zero playoff experience and the Eagles need to get after the young quarterback. The Eagles need to force Trubisky to make plays with his arm and come up clutch in a major way. They need to force him to throw his way down the field instead of tosses to running backs or short throws.
3 – Stopping Khalil Mack: The Eagles need to protect Nick Foles from the force that is Khalil Mack. Mack has 12.5 sacks, 47 combined tackles, and 6 forced fumbles. He is a ferocious force that feeds on opposing quarterbacks. Foles was banged up after the Redskins game and will be ready to go, but the Eagles must keep him healthy and away from Mack.
4 – Keep Alshon hot: Under Foles, the Eagles have utilized Alshon Jeffery much more. Jeffery is averaging just over 100 yards each game over the last three games and has been a major factor in the offense. The Eagles will need to have a deep ball and sideline threat to move the chains. Look for Jeffery to be involved early and often against his former team.
5 – Energy gives the Eagles an edge: The Eagles have something you can’t find on the roster; energy. The Eagles have been electric down the stretch and have completely changed the entire team dynamic. Foles has the offense averaging 28.7 points per game since he took over and the defense that many fans have scrutinized has stepped up in a major way. Can this momentum propel them past a rigorous Bears defense?
Tune in to NBC at 4:40 PM for the NFC Wild Card matchup. You can also follow the action and join the conversation as we live tweet on Twitter: @BirdsInformer during the game.