Several Philadelphia Eagles players described Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings as “embarrassing.” The Eagles fell in what many described as a classic “trap game,” where the Vikings top Quarterback, two running backs, and tight ends were all injured. The Minnesota defense, led by the defensive end duo of Jared Allen and Brian Robison, seemed to spend most of the game in Eagles quarterback Nick Foles personal space hitting him ten times and sacking him four times.
Philadelphia’s defense had a tough time stopping second year Vikings running back Matt Asiata who rushed for three touchdowns while Minnesota’s veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings caught eleven passes for 163 yards and a touchdown.
But that was then, and this is now. The Eagles face the Chicago Bears this Sunday in what will be the biggest game many of their young players have experienced in their careers. Chicago boasts some of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the NFL with running back Matt Forte, monster wide receivers Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall, and finally mauler tight end Martellus Bennett. Oh, and quarterback Jay Cuttler is back at the helm of the Bear’s potent offense too.
The Eagles defense will certainly have their hands full with the Bears explosive playmakers, but Philadelphia can exploit a significant weakness of Chicago by handing the ball off with regularity to running back LeSean McCoy.
Chicago has the worst run defense in the league this year allowing the most yards from scrimmage (2,134), the highest yards per attempt (5.2), and giving up a league high 152.4 yards per game which is particularly abysmal given that the New England Patriots second to last place run defense gives up 20 yards less per game.
On the flip side of this equation, the Eagles enter Sunday with the most rushing yards (2,140), highest run average per attempt (5.0), and lead the NFL in yardage per game with 152.9. The differences between the Eagles run offense and Bears run defense are significant, to say the least. There is no wonder at all why LeSean McCoy had this to say to reports when talking about the Chicago Bears matchup,
“I feel like this game, I want to put the offense on my back. I want to roll. I want to get going. I think that me and the guys up front, we have to set the tone.”
Shady McCoy is licking his chops and asking for the ball because he knows that if he can run the way he is capable of, eating up both yards and precious time off the clock, the Bears offensive weapons will not have time on the field to develop a rhythm. One could argue that Philadelphia’s best defense against Chicago will be its offense, when the top rushing team meets the worst run stoppers this Sunday.
What do you think Eagles Nation; can LeSean McCoy carry the day on his back against the Chicago Bears?
Follow Matt Thornton on Twitter: @MattThorntonNFL