Bears will meet a different Eagles team this season
BY MARK POTASH Twitter: @MarkPotash October 31, 2011 11:38AM
Despite a slow start, the Eagles are starting to look like the "Dream Team" everyone expected. The Bears will face the Eagles in Philadelphia next Monday. | AP
Updated: October 31, 2011 3:34PM
The Bears caught the Philadelphia Eagles at the right place at the right time last season. But after the Eagles routed the Dallas Cowboys 34-7 at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday night, it doesn’t look like the Bears’ timing is quite as fortuitous this time around.
When the Bears played the Eagles last Nov. 28, they were at Soldier Field; the Eagles were coming off an emotional come-from-behind victory over the rival New York Giants in a pivotal game between 6-3 teams that ultimately decided which team would make the playoffs and which would not; and the Eagles were without star cornerback Asante Samuel. The Bears won 31-26 to move to 8-3 en route to the NFC North title.
Just the Bears’ luck, the Eagles (3-4) are looking like the “Dream Team” for the first time since a Week 1 victory over the Rams. Nnamdi Asomugha had an interception of Tony Romo and Jason Babin sacked Romo in the first quarter to spark the impressive rout. The Eagles dominated time-of-possession, controlling the ball for 42:09 to just 17:51 for the Cowboys.
Babin, who parlayed a breakout year at 30 into a five-year, $28 million contract to rejoin the Eagles (he had 12.5 sacks for the Tennessee Titans last year—he had never had more than five in a season), had two sacks against the Cowboys and has nine in seven games this season.
Michael Vick was 21-of-28 for 279 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 129.9 passer rating and added 50 rushing yards on seven carries. And running back LeSean McCoy rushed for 185 yards on 30 carries against the Cowboys top-ranked rush defense (69.7 yards per game, 3.3 yards per carry). He also caught two passes for 15 yards to give him an even 200 yards from scrimmage for the night.
The Eagles are now 13-0 after the bye week under Andy Reid. In fact, bye teams were 5-1 on Sunday. The only loser was the New England Patriots, who lost 25-17 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh—no shame there. It’s the Bears who will have the extra rest this time—they had a bye Sunday and will have had two full weeks off since returning from London after beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last weekend. Lovie Smith is 4-3 after bye weeks.
The Bears might be catching the Eagles at the wrong time—or not. The New Orleans Saints, after beating the winless Indianapolis Colts 62-7 last week, lost to the winless St. Louis Rams 31-21 on Sunday. The winless Dolphins, who lost the Denver Broncos at home last week, nearly beat the New York Giants in the Meadowlands on Sunday. They lost 20-17 on a touchdown pass in the final six minutes. Fortunes change quickly in the NFL, maybe even more so this season than most.