It’s Week 16 and the end of the regular season is in sight. The Bears are walking the tightrope to try to navigate their way to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. They head to Philadelphia to face an Eagles team that is in a similar boat. The good news for the Bears is that they control their own playoff destiny. The interesting news is that since the game was flexed to Sunday night, both the Bears and Eagles could know what’s at stake based on the results of the afternoon. Can the Bears steal a win from the Eagles and leave a lump of coal in their stockings? Will the Eagles be naughty or nice? Let’s check out our Week 16 Staff Picks and see what our team thinks.
I sincerely hope the Bears have a chance to end the race on Sunday night. I like their chances if Rodgers is out and, let’s face it, the Lions can lose to anybody just about better than anybody. Shady McCoy certainly has me nervous, but I think the Eagles D should be just as worried about how their beat-up secondary is going to contain our receiving core. If the Bears D can control Shady just enough, I think the Bears can win going away and, unless the wind becomes a factor, I think it will be a high scoring affair.
Bears 40 – Eagles 30
Sep 15, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears outside linebacker Lance Briggs (55) reacts during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
If I had to guess what’s going to happen on Sunday afternoon, I think the Bears will have something to play for on Sunday night. Either both the Lions and Packers lose, which means the division title will be on the line or at least the Lions lose, which will keep pressure on the Bears to stay ahead of the Lions. Seeding will also be at stake, with the winner in position to be the #3 seed in the NFC and avoid a trip to Seattle in the Divisional round of the playoffs.
As for the actual game, this will come down to which team’s weakness stands out less. The Bears run defense is league-worst while the Eagles pass D is ranked 31st. The Bears get Lance Briggs back and Jeremiah Ratliff has been getting his legs under him and making a difference. Cutler has shaken the rust off in Cleveland last week and will be taking to the air early and often. In a battle of first year head coaches, Marc Trestman has one more move than Chip Kelly.