Philadelphia Eagles (5-4, 5-4 ATS) at Chicago Bears (4-5, 4-5 ATS), NFL Week 11 Sunday Night Football, Soldier Field Sunday November 22nd, 8:20PM Eastern
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Philadelphia -3/Da Bears +3
Sunday Night Football have proven to be the best games of the year so far during the 2009 season. Last week the Colts and Patriots battled in great football game. This week the Chicago Bears will host the Philadelphia Eagles in what hopes to be another exciting match-up. The Eagles will be 3 point favorites entering the contest, despite being knocked off by San Diego last week 31-23. The loss was the 2nd straight for the Philadelphia staff and they must get back on track if anyone is going to take control in the NFC East.
The Bears have now dropped 4 of their last 5 games including a 10-6 nightmare against San Francisco last week. QB Jay Cutler threw for over 300 yards, but also threw 5 interceptions in the contest. Cutler was suppose to relieve Chicago fans from the interceptions that have plagued the Bears in recent years, but may have just inherited the curse as he has thrown 17 interceptions this season which is just 1 shy of his career worse in just 9 games. Cutler and the Bears offense look to get back on track this Sunday night while getting back to the .500 equilibrium mark.
Eagles QB Donovan McNabb had a huge week 10 completing 35 of 55 passes for 450 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Evidently Coach Andy Reid must have finally got fed up with the struggling running game and decided to keep the ball in the air for an amazing 55 passing attempts. Philadelphia attempt just 9 running plays with 29 yards on the ground. However, McNabb was solid finding wide receivers Jason Avant and DeSean Jackson frequently. Avant posted his biggest game of the season with 8 catches for 156 yards and Jackson has been a big play threat all season. The Bears pass defense has been solid holding opponents to just 195 yards per game through the air. However, expect the Eagles to come out with another heavily unbalanced passing attack considering the ground game is just not going to win games for the Eagles.
Bookies opened the betting lines favoring the Eagles by just 1 point, but that quickly shifted and jumped up to 3 points where it currently stands. Early betting action shows the betting public is favoring Philadelphia nearly 3 to 1. If you are wanting to consider a play on the moneyline the Eagles are listed at -130 with the Bears at a profitable +150. The over/under total has also been posted for the contest at the 45 mark.
The biggest area of concern for the Bears remains the ever going turnover war that Chicago has been losing for about 10 years running. The Bears are 0-4 this season when Cutler throws more than 1 interception. Chicago has also lost their last 9 straight games when a quarterback has thrown more than 2 picks in a single game. The Bears are holding onto a negative 5 turnover ratio among the worse in the NFC. If the Bears are to rebound from their disappointing stretch, they simply need to hold onto the football.
For the season, Cutler has thrown 2,323 yards and 14 scores while completing 63% which would not be bad if not for the 17 picks. Wide receivers Devin Hester and Earl Bennett are developing nicely on the outside. Bennett the former teammate of Cutler at Vanderbilt has caught 35 passes for 454 yards in just his 2nd year in the league. Hester who was once just thought to be a special team’s guru has caught 45 passes for just less than 600 yards. Running back Matt Forte is not having the season as expected on the ground, but has found a way to catch a few balls out of the backfield in recent weeks to stay effective. Forte is also just in his 2nd year and this Bears offense has a ton of young talented guys. The future is bright, but the question on everyone’s mind in Chicago is how much longer will it take to show?
Jay’s Pick - The Bears are 9-4 ATS in the last 13 games playing Philadelphia and returning home should help get the offense back on track. Everyone will be on the Eagles here, but I will got out on a limb and side with Chicago at +3.