The Eagles are one week away from the Cowboys rematch, now known as The Micah Parsons Game. The game that will make Christmas Eve very happy for one fan base.
But first, the Eagles travel to Chicago to play the 3-10 Bears on Sunday. Whoever invented the term “trap game” had this ultimate definition of the term in mind.
Free advice for Parsons and the Cowboys: Keep your side-eye Sunday on the surging, Doug Pederson-led Jaguars.
THREE PREDICTIONS YOU’LL LIKE
1. THE NUMBERS
I’m not a hard believer in statistics because in the NFL any team can win (or lose) any game.
I don’t ignore the numbers, either. They tell you *something.*
This is what the numbers tell me this week: The Eagles should easily defeat the Bears. Obviously, right?
The Eagles defense is ranked second; the Bears offense is 22nd. The Bears have the top-ranked running attack, mostly fueled by quarterback Justin Fields’ 905 yards. Eagles need a strategy to contain Fields.
The Eagles are ranked third in total offense, tied for second in running and 14th in passing. They lead the NFL in scoring.
They are going against a Bears defense that isn’t exactly the Monsters of the Midway. The Bears rank 19th in total defense, 27th against the run and 11th against the pass. They are 29th in points allowed.
Paging Miles Sanders … Expect another big game from Sanders.
2. TRAP GAME
As mentioned, Dallas awaits next week. The Bears stink, blah, blah, blah.
Human nature says the Eagles will look ahead to Dallas. It’s not a crime.
I say the Eagles are so locked in, their concentration will not waver against the Bears. The coaches are preaching it and team leaders are shouting it.
- “I think what we just feel like is that we’re improving and that we’re getting better each day, and that’s our goal,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said.
- “That’s all you can really think about. You can’t think about when we were 1-0, we couldn’t think about being 12-1. All we could focus on is how do we get better today …
- “OK, we clinched a playoff spot, but nobody is thinking about the playoffs. All we’re thinking about is how we get better today.”
Game, set, match.
3. EAGLES WIN
Overwhelmingly, the Eagles should win and not many reasons they won’t. Chicago has lost six straight. Make it seven. Eagles, 34-10.
THREE PREDICTIONS YOU WON’T LIKE
1. JUSTIN FIELDS
Should Fields continue to improve, he will be the Bears’ answer at quarterback. He also needs help. The Bears’ roster needs more than duct tape — and their record reflects that.
For the Bears to win, Fields will need 100 yards on the ground and 200-plus in the air.
Wait, who is he? Jalen Hurts?
- “This guy is electric, so we’re going to have to have some tools that we use and we’re going to have to do basically the same thing because the way that they move the ball down the field is all through the quarterback,” Sirianni said. “Got a big-time challenge with that.”
- Bears coach Matt Eberflus told the Chicago media this week: “Obviously he can make dynamic plays, but we want to see also the ordinary plays, the check-downs, the easy passes, take what the defense gives you, all those types of things that he thinks he needs to improve on and we do, too. He’s gonna work at that.”
Fields has typical growing pains for young quarterbacks. He has thrown for 13 touchdowns and has 10 interceptions. He completes 61.7 percent of his passes.
But Fields is a guy who, at some point, will win games for the Bears — and not just with his legs. It won’t be this week, but what if it is? That’s the ticket for a Bears win.
2. EVERYBODY WANTS SOME
The Eagles are 12-1. For a 3-10 team like the Bears, beating Philly could make their season. At least make it less miserable.
Such is life in the fast lane. The Eagles have accelerated there. Every team wants to knock them down. Can’t blame them.
This is the Bears’ shot.
3. BEARS WIN
This isn’t the easiest task on the ol’ to-do list.
The most ardent Bears fans don’t think Chicago is going to pull the upset. But hope, as they say, springs eternal.
The Bears will need more than hope. They’ll need Fields to play his best game of the season. They’ll need their defense to conjure up the memories and intensity of Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary and contain the Eagles’ running game.
Flip the field on one of those fourth-and-ones at the Eagles’ 40-yard line. Stop Hurts in his tracks. Keep the score low. Get a few unexpected breaks — a deflected Hurts pass deep in Eagles’ territory. Score a defensive touchdown.
See, it can happen. Bears, 16-13.