I don’t think anyone saw this coming. The Eagles traveled to Solider Field to take on a team who many, including myself, didn’t think were as good as their record indicated. However, the Bears had a nice game plan in effect to slow down the Eagles explosive offense and really stepped up in the red zone.
The Eagles defense gave up way too many big plays and failed to shut down the Bears offense when they really needed to. They allowed Jay Cutler to throw all over them and allowed Matt Forte to run all over them.
Today I take a closer look at the game and nominate the Eagles I thought were studs and duds.
LeSean McCoy – Week in and week out, this guy has been an absolute stud. I’d love to see him get more carries on a regular basis, but I don’t think I’ll ever be happy with how often the Eagles run the football.
Against the Bears, McCoy had 10 carries for 53 yards and also recorded eight receptions for 67 yards.
In addition to his production with the ball in his hands, he is really developing into a a great all-around back. His blocking last season was not very good, but he has really stepped it up this year. They don’t ask him to stay in and block a lot, but he has done a great job when asked to do so.
On one play against the Bears, a blitzing Brian Urlacher came running in untouched, and McCoy stepped up and put a great block on him. This kind of thing doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, but it’s definitely something that will be noticed in film study.
Jason Avant – As always, Avant lives in the shadow of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. However, he continues to show us that he may very well be the best third receiver in the NFL.
Against the Bears, Avant led the team in both catches and yards as he recorded eight receptions for 83 yards.
He probably won’t be on the end of any home-run balls from Michael Vick anytime soon, but he will consistently be that guy who goes across the middle and catches footballs.
With all the attention teams will have on Jackson and Maclin, having a guy like Avant is very important.
Trent Cole – Coming into the game, Jay Cutler had been sacked more then any other quarterback in the league. The Eagles knew this and expected to be able to get to Cutler early and often.
Cole failed to disappoint as he recorded two sacks on the day. As usual, he saw a lot of double teams, but was able to fight the entire game and be a menace coming off the edge.
Whenever you hear people talk about Cole, they always talk about him being a “high motor” guy. He continues to live up to this branding. No matter what the opposing offense throws at him, he doesn’t quit.
David Akers – You hate to have your kicker listed as a stud, but Akers did everything that was asked of him against the Bears.
On the day, Akers recorded four field goals on four attempts. He made field goals from 45, 22, and 36 yards twice.
One of the biggest downfalls for the Eagles against the Bears was the lack of touchdowns scored in the red zone. You don’t want to see them having to settle for field goals.
However, it’s nice to know that you have a guy like Akers that can be relied upon to come in and consistently make kicks.
Trevard Lindley – In the absence of Asante Samuel, Lindley saw a lot of action against the Bears. He wasn’t the starter but was on the field a lot in the nickel package.
When Lindley took the field, Cutler tended to look his way. In most situations, Lindley was giving a large cushion and the Bears took full advantage of that. The Bears receivers ran a lot of quick slants that would put the ball in their hands faster than Lindley could close.
He’s only a rookie and he’s going to learn, but it wasn’t a very impressive performance for him. I would have liked to see him adjust and start getting more physical with the Bears receivers.
Stewart Bradley – I felt like Bradley was starting to pick his game up over the last few weeks, but I wasn’t very happy with the way he played against the Bears.
Anytime that an opposing running back has over 100 yards rushing, you have to look at the middle linebacker position. Bradley failed to do his part in shutting down the Bears rushing attack and also did a poor job tackling.
Missing a tackle can be the difference between a short gain and a big play and this happened to Bradley and the Eagles on Sunday. You don’t expect your middle linebacker to miss tackles, and you shouldn’t have to.
DeSean Jackson – Everyone knows about the brutal hit that Jackson took earlier this season against the Falcons. However, I thought it was behind him.
Against the Bears, Vick threw a ball to Jackson that should have been a touchdown but Jackson felt like a big hit was going to be delivered so he backed off of it. In a game like that, you can’t afford to make mental mistakes like that.
Jackson only had two receptions against the Bears for 26 yards. These aren’t the kind of numbers you like to see out of your number one receiver, but I understand that he’s not going to have a 100 yard receiving game every week.
In the end, your number one guy has to make a play when called upon. Jackson failed to do that this week.
Special Teams – The coverage units this week were absolutely terrible. In a tough game like this one, special teams can have a huge impact.
The Bears have talented return men, and the Eagles let them run wild on Sunday. They needed someone to step up and make a play, but it just wasn’t happening.
Field position has a big impact on a game, and the special teams unit gave up too much yardage on the day.