Entering Enemy Territory: Five Questions about the Bears

We check in with Mike Burzawa, editor of FanSided’s Bears blog Bear Goggles On to give us the word on tonight’s opponent.

1. After struggling in 2009, Matt Forte has really come on for the Bears. What’s made him so effective in Mike Martz’ scheme?

Forte suffered through a sophomore slump in 2009, playing with an unreported bum hamstring for much of the season. Ever since, he’s been healthy and better than ever doing his best Marshall Faulk impression in Mike Martz’s offense. He’s been so successful because he’s been involved in the passing game, which has given him the ball in space where he’s been able to use his speed and vision to make people miss.

2. There’s a perception in Philadelphia that the Chicago defense isn’t quite the same unit that it’s been in the past. Is there some truth to this, or is this defense as strong as ever?

The Bears defense has set a pretty high standard over the last few years in the Lovie Smith era, so to say that they’re “as strong as ever” is a tough call. The defense has had some lapses, mostly due to some sloppy safety play. Don’t think that there are any weaknesses in the front 7 because Urlacher, Briggs and Peppers will be coming for Vick and McCoy. If the Eagles are looking for a soft spot, they should test the Bears’ inexperienced safeties Chris Conte and Major Wright.

3. Jay Cutler has been up and down during his tenure with the Bears. What do you attribute to his inconsistency?

The Bears have done Cutler a major disservice ever since they brought him here because they’ve failed to give him any real weapons or protection. Of course, some if it falls on Cutler and some bad decision making, but he’s constantly under duress and has a lack of seasoned receivers to bail him out when he’s scrambling for his life.

4. What’s been the Bears’ greatest weakness to this point in the season?

Early on in the season, it’s been their offensive line. They’ve been inconsistent, particularly in pass protection. It’s probably the thing that scares me most about tonight’s game. Trent Cole and Jason Babin could have a big night against the Bears’ tackles, especially with a rowdy Eagles crowd contributing to communication problems along the line.

5. Big game in the NFC Playoff picture. Who ‘ya got and what’s the score?

I’ve had this one marked as an L in my book since the schedule came out. The Bears are coming off a bye, so maybe the added rest gives them a fighters chance, but between the Eagles’ offensive firepower and pressure that the D-line can bring, I figure it’s going to be a tough night for the Bears. Eagles 23, Bears 17.

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