On Sunday night, the Philadelphia Eagles will travel to Chicago to take on the Bears in the first round of the playoffs. The Eagles come in at 9-7 and barely made the playoffs by snagging the second wild-card spot in week 17. The Bears are 12-4 and won the NFC North Division. These two teams have not faced each other since 2017.
Both Teams Coming Off Victories
The Eagles are coming off a 24-0 win at Washington last week and got help when the Bears beat Minnesota to earn a spot in the playoffs. Quarterback Nick Foles went 28 for 33 for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception before going down with an injury in the 4th quarter. He is expected to play in Chicago. Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams, and Darren Sproles all got work out of the backfield. These 3 combined for 127 yards on 30 carries and no touchdowns. Alston Jeffery was the leading receiver for the Eagles as he caught 5 passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. However, Nelson Agholor was key to victory as he caught 5 passes for just 40 yards but found the end zone twice.
The Bears are coming off a 24-10 victory over the Vikings last week which cemented the Eagles spot in the playoffs. The offense was not spectacular in this one, as quarterback Mitchell Trubisky went 18 for 26 for 163 yards and no touchdowns and no interceptions. However, Jordan Howard picked up the touch passing game tremendously. Howard ran the ball 21 times for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tarik Cohen also added a rushing touchdown but had just 24 yards on 5 carries. Taylor Gabriel was the leading receiver for Chicago with 61 yards on 4 catches.
Eagles Will Have to Step Up Their Game
The Eagles have been average on both sides of the ball this season. The offense ranks 18th in the league in points and 14th in total yards with 22.9 and 365.3, respectively. Nick Foles has been excellent since taking over for Carson Wentz, and the Eagles are averaging 267.2 passing yards a game and 98.1 rushing yards a game which is good for 7th and 28th in the NFL. The defense has not been great but has been able to keep teams off the scoreboard for the most part. They are 12th in the league in points allowed with 21.8 a game and are 23rd in total yards allowed with 366.2 a game. They allow 269.2 passing yards each game which ranks 30th and allow 96.9 rushing yards a game, which is 7th in the league.
The Bears have relied on one of the best defenses in the league all season long. The offense has been average, but they have done enough to win games because of the stout defense. The offense ranks 9th in points per game with 26.3 and 21st in total yards a game with 343.9. They average 222.8 passing yards a game and 121.1 rushing yards a game which ranks 21st and 11th in the NFL, respectively. The defense has been spectacular this season. They are giving up a league-best 17.7 points per game. They allow just 299.7 total yards a game which ranks 3rd. They are allowing 219.7 passing yards a game which is 7th in the league and only 80 rushing yards a game which ranks 1st in the league.
Bears vs. Eagles Prediction
The Bears come in at -6.5. The Eagles will struggle to move the ball on offense the whole game as the Bears boast one of the best defenses in the game. At home, the Bears are even better, and they have gone 7-1 at home this season. The Bears offense should be able to do enough against a weak Philadelphia secondary to get the win and will lean on their defense to keep the Eagles quiet. Bears win by 10+. Take Chicago -6.5.
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