In a few hours the Chicago Bears will take on the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field. A few weeks ago I was one of the few people that thought the Bears could beat the Indianapolis Colts in an upset. I thought they could beat the Panthers and the Bucs but some terrible fourth quarter defense threw out those predictions. I’m not going to be so optimistic this week.
I’ve gone over it in my head over and over again and I just can’t see a game plan that would allow the Bears to take advantage of any weaknesses on the Eagles. The only possibility would be if Eagles back Brian Westbrook has to sit out and Devin Hester is cleared to play. Even then the Bears would need some breaks, a little luck, and a great game plan to get a win tonight.
The Eagles are one of the best teams in the league right now on both sides of the ball. There is no doubt the offense will struggle against a great Eagles defense and a majority of points may come from field goals. Anything is possible from rookie back Matt Forte to break some plays and create points but I don’t expect anything great from Kyle Orton.
The Bears have a great defense but they have fallen apart two weeks in a row and they need to look inward to find their identity. The normally smother the run and force the quarterback to make throws that can turn into interceptions and fumbles. In every game they have been successful in making the quarterback throw the ball to beat them, but in two of those games, the quarterback did beat them. Changes may be made in the defensive starters to generate a spark. However, it appears that the problem has more to do with coaching than the caliber of players. The Bears have one of the most talented, highly paid defenses in football and there is no excuse for them not performing. Defensive coordinator Bob Babich needs to figure out why his defensive scheme allows opposing offenses to figure them out in the fourth quarter.
Perhaps its as simple as making more half-time adjustments so the opposing team cannot make adjustments with their offensive game plan that over powers the Bears. I still think the Bears have an extremely talented team, but they are lacking leadership at the end of games. Maybe the Eagles are exactly what the Bears players need to test themselves and prove to themselves that they can hang with the big dogs. If they can hang in with the Eagles, they can hang with anyone. However, most of that hinges on their performance in the fourth quarter.
If the Bears drop to 1-3 when they had a golden opportunity to start the season 3-0 coming into this game, fans may already start to sour on this season.