Defensive end Trent Cole is baffled by the team's 5-4 start. While Cole is having a Pro Bowl season with 7.5 sacks, which ranks eighth in the league, Cole believes that this team is much better than its record indicates. He looks at the recent loss to San Diego as an example of a game that the Eagles should have come away with.
"I know we have a great team and we didn't go out and execute," said Cole. "That's all you can really say."
This week, the Eagles travel to Chicago to take on a Bears team with a 4-5 record. The Bears have the league's 19th-best offense guided by quarterback Jay Cutler who leads the league with 17 interceptions. Cole said that after falling behind 14-0 last week to the Chargers it is imperative that the Eagles get an early jump this week.
"We have to get on top of them coming out of the gates and not be trying to warm up and have them score on us," Cole said. "We have to shut them down early."
Cole started at left defensive end last week instead of his usual right end spot. Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott explained that the move was to put Cole on Chargers right tackle Jeromey Clary instead of Pro Bowl left tackle Marcus McNeill.
"You are always looking for matchups and they had an ex-Pro Bowl left offensive tackle that we thought we could we could move Trent and take advantage of their right tackle," McDermott said. "That's a part of the matchup game."
Cole said that he would move back to the right defensive end spot this week against Chicago and take on future Hall of Famer Orlando Pace. Cutler has been sacked 19 times this season, which is tied for fifth highest among NFC quarterbacks. The key to getting off to a quick start, Cole said, is more of a mental challenge than a physical one.
"We have to go in with the attitude that we're going to win and that we're going to beat the guy on the other side of us every time," Cole said.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 11:00 a.m., November 21