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Eagles are a Team Nobody Should Want to Face

Eagles are a Team Nobody Should Want to Face
By beating the Minnesota Vikings, the Chicago Bears knocked them out of the playoffs, but the Bears may regret that victory because it meant that they now have to face the Eagles.

On Sunday the Eagles will travel to Chicago for the opening playoff round and if there is a team that nobody would want to face, it is them.

The Eagles are a confident group, having won five of the last six. The lone loss was the 29-23 OT defeat in Dallas, where the Eagles felt (rightly so) that they were on the short end of several officiating gaffes.

The one worry is the condition of quarterback Nick Foles, who left Sunday’s 24-0 win over Washington with a rib injury.

On Monday it was disclosed that he had bruised ribs, which are painful but playable. Foles should be fine and the Eagles should follow suit.

There isn’t anybody in the NFC the Eagles will line up against and be overwhelmed.

That includes New Orleans, which beat the Eagles, 48-7 on Nov. 18.

Since then, the Eagles went on their late-season tear by winning five of the last six and the Saints have struggled for offensive consistency.

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But first it is having to beat the Bears in Chicago.

The Bears have one of the top defenses in the NFL and the pass rush, led by Khalil Mack, is especially dangerous.

Then again, the Eagles offensive line, assuming left tackle Jason Peters can remain healthy, is also one of the best in the league.

The matchup between the Eagles offensive line and the Bears defensive line will be the key one. The Bears were tied for third in the NFL with 50 sacks. Mack had 12.5 sacks and he missed two games and was less than 100 percent for a few others.

Defensive tackle Akeem Hicks had 7.5 sacks.

Then again, the Eagles also have a formidable pass rush and should put some heat on mistake-prone quarterback Mitch Trubisky. The Eagles were tied for eighth in the NFL with 44 sacks and Pro Bowl tackle Fletcher Cox had a career-high 10.5.

Having just completed his second regular season, Trubisky completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 3,223 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

He has good mobility but has been known to make careless throws. One positive is that he ended the season without an interception in his final three games.

That said, the Bears likely won’t rely on him to win a game. He just can’t lose it in their mind.

Chicago doesn’t have an explosive offense but the running game is solid. Jordan Howard rushed for 935 yards, and 9 TDs, but just 3.7 yards per carry. Tarik Cohen rushed for 444 yards (4.5 avg.) and 3 TDs.

Former Eagles tight end Trey Burton has enjoyed a solid season with 54 receptions for 569 yards and six touchdowns.

Look for this to be a low-scoring game with the first team to 20 winning.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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