Friday, November 20, 2009

Bears hoping recent history repeats itself

The Bears and Eagles have quite the history. Did you know that they've faced each other in 10 different stadiums? List:

The Baker Bowl
Municipal Stadium
Wrigley Field
Shibe Park
Forbes Field
Franklin Field, U-Penn.
Dyche Stadium, Northwestern
Veterans Stadium
Soldier Field
Memorial Stadium

And they have some recent history as well:

2008: Bears stop the Eagles four times from the one-yard line, win 24-20. (Can you imagine them doing that this year?)

2007: Brian Griese leads game-winning 97-yard drive, Bears win 19-16.

Prior to 2008, the Eagles had defeated the Bears five straight times--including a playoff victory in 2002--going back to 1995.

I know, I know, I need to get to this Sunday's match-up already. But can you blame me for living in the past? The Bears' season has fallen apart faster than a diversity workshop at Michael Richards's house, and the Eagles aren't looking so hot either--they've lost three of their last five and need a win to stay above .500.

Plus, Jay Cutler is more averse to playing under the lights than a gremlin (I think I may have used that joke before, but I don't care, I like it). Back-to-back weeks with a prime time match-up of less than stellar teams; NFL Network couldn't do anything about it, but I'm surprised NBC didn't "flex" this game.


Red zone opportunities. This goes for both teams. We know the Bears have struggled mightily inside the 20, but the Eagles got inside the 15 three times last week against the Chargers and got just three points each time. They did manage to score a couple TDs later in the game. If one of these teams can overcome their fear of the red zone, they'll probably walk away with a win.

DeSean "Big Play" Jackson. I don't think anyone actually calls him that, but they should. He has six touchdowns of 50 yards or more on the season (four receiving, one punt return, one rushing), and one more would set the NFL record held by, among others, Devin Hester (hat tip: UPI). The man's got wings, and the Bears will have to do what they can to try to contain him.

Inter ... Intercep ... I can't even say it. Whenever I'm about to say it I start having flashbacks and I come entirely too close to blacking out. But obviously this is a key to the game. Cutler can't throw any ... of those things. It's kind of shocking the Eagles have just one more victory than the Bears given their +10 turnover ratio compared to the Bears' -5.

Where'd he come from?

QB Donovan McNabb, Syracuse
WR DeSean Jackson, California
WR Jeremy Maclin, Missouri
WR Jason Avant, Michigan
LB Akeem Jordan, James Madison
CB Asante Samuel, Central Florida

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