Free NFL Pick: Philadelphia at Chicago 11-28-2010

November 27, 2010

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Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

Sunday November 28th, 2010 4:15 PM EST

Line: Philadelphia -4

Overview:

At 7-3, the Philadelphia Eagles have become the most electrifying team in the NFL. The Eagles have won fie of their last six and look unstoppable on the offensive side of the ball. They are playing their best football right now, which makes them dangerous for any team to face.

This is a perfect matchup, as the 7-3 Chicago Bears have arrived at 7-3 on the shoulders of their defense. The Bears have won three in a row and shut the Dolphins out last week on the road. Both teams are on top of their division, but one step in the wrong direction for either team could spell disaster for thier season. This is a crucial juncture in the season for both football teams.

Keys to the Game:

  • How do you stop Michael Vick? Vick not only leads the league in quarterback rating with 108.7, he also leads all quarterbacks in rushing and has five touchdowns on the ground this year. Vick has DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy at his disposal, two of the only players in the league that could challenge him in a foot race. He has the ability to extend plays and launch the ball down field for six from anywhere on the field. He is the ultimate play maker and a serious MVP candidate.
  • The question becomes, are the Bears fast enough on defense to contain Michael Vick? In a word, no. Then again, nobody really has the raw speed to contain Vick. Last week, the Giants contained Vick to posting human numbers. The key to their success was the play of their front four. The Bears can have similar production, but can’t get caught chasing Vick. They have to remain disciplined and having guys like Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs, and Brian Urlacher in your front seven makes discipline attainable. If any team can slow Vick, it’s the Bears.
  • Matt Forte showed some life last week. He put up 98 yards and was a crucial part of the big win over Miami. Forte has to make his presence felt again. He was know for his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and contribute on the ground, but has shown serious regression since the beginning of the season. If Forte can get back on track it makes it easier on Jay Cutler.

Key Matchup:

Trent Cole Vs Jay Cutler

  • Trent Cole has seven sacks on the season. Cole has steadily declined as the season has gone on, but he still plays a crucial role in applying pass rush effectively. Cole should win the matchup against the Bears offensive line. The Bears have a terrible offensive line. They have improved, but they haven’t improved to an average status just yet.While usually when an edge rusher is featured in the key matchup it’s against a left tackle, this week it is more fitting to pair him with Jay Cutler.
  • Cutler makes more mistakes the more he is forced to move around. Cutler looks like an all pro at times, but when he doesn’t get time, which happens more often than not, he makes poor decisions. Cutler has thrown seven picks in his last four games. His day has a negative correlation with Trent Cole’s day.

Wrap Up:

I’ve been harder on the Bears this season than I should have been, but the way Philadelphia is playing, there is no way I can go with the Bears this week. Their defense should fair well, but their offense leaves something to be desired. It’s no secret that they need to surround Cutler with an improved offensive line and some legitimate threats at receiver.

Free NFL Pick: Philadelphia -4


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