Chicago Bears vs. Philadelphia Eagles
- DATE: November 7, 2011
- TIME: 8:30 PM
- LOCATION: Lincoln Financial Field
Overall Series Record: 12-29-1
Record at Lincoln Financial Field: 0-1
Last Meeting: November 28, 2010 – Bears 31, Eagles 26
Game Recap: After three straight wins coming out the bye week, the Eagles were humbled in a frustrating 31-26 loss at the hands of the Chicago Bears as Jay Cutler diced up an Eagles secondary without Asante Samuel for four touchdowns. Michael Vick was intercepted for the first time all season and the pick came in the red zone where the offense could only capitalize on one of five opportunities. The Bears seized control of the game after the interception as Earl Bennett's touchdown, Cutler's third TD toss of the game, gave them a 21-13 halftime lead.
Few teams have been more of a thorn in the Eagles' side the last few years than the Bears, who have won three of the last four matchups between the two teams – all in the last four years. Last year, the Bears were the first team to intercept Michael Vick en route to a sloppily played five-point win. But this time, the two teams won't be playing in the fragile mud of Soldier Field.
Truthfully, the Eagles should still harbor a grudge over that game, because it was the tie-breaker in last year's race for the coveted No. 2 seed and the first-round bye that came along with it. As a result, the Eagles lost in the wildcard round to the Green Bay Packers, who would then go on to dismiss the Bears, in Chicago, in the NFC Championship game. In that NFC Championship game, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler left with an MCL sprain, which created a firestorm questioning his toughness. That could motivate him to have a big 2011, so the Eagles figure to have their hands full with a player who lit them up last year to the tune of four touchdown passes and no interceptions.
Now, it must be said that Cutler did all that against the Eagles' secondary with Asante Samuel not playing. Samuel, the perennial Pro Bowler and perhaps the best playmaker at the cornerback position in the league, should then be plenty amped to line across from Cutler, who led the league in interceptions only two seasons ago.
It should also be noted that Juan Castillo has said that he plans to model the Eagles defense after the Bears defensive style of swarming to the ball and "attacking," so this figures to be a telling matchup.
On the other side of the ball, Vick should be ready to face off against the first defense to really rattle him last season – though he did respond with a nice too-little-too-late comeback in the fourth quarter last year. It is also a matchup of a top-five rushing offense from last season and a top-five rushing defense, so expect the proverbial battle in the trenches to be of the utmost importance.