Bears Game Is Must-Win for Andy Reid and Eagles

Written By Bob Cunningham On Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Shady" can carry this team if he's given the chance.

The Eagles must win this Sunday in Chicago or the season is, for all intents and purposes, lost. If they fall to .500, the Cowboys and Giants will gain control of the division and the Birds will be on the outside looking in.

Last season the Eagles were able to sneak into the playoffs after falling to 5-5-1, but that will not fly this season. The NFC is too competitive for the Eagles to fall behind now. With a 6-4 record they're still in the mix, but a 5-5 record pretty much removes them from the playoff chase, barring a magnificent run.

Which, of course, the Eagles have done and are capable of doing.

But it can't get to that point and if the leaders on this team do their job, it won't get to that point. The coaching staff has got to get these young guys better prepared so that McNabb can stop burning timeouts, and Reid has personally got to commit to the run and keep the defense relaxing on the sideline.

It was only a matter of time before this quick-strike offense caught up to the defense and began to wear them down, and we're seeing it now. We're seeing opposing offenses sustaining drives much longer, the pass rush is deteriorating, and key guys are getting hurt.

Reid has got to have faith in his rookie running back and allow him to pound the ball against the Bears. Not only that, but Reid has to stick with the kid. McCoy is not the guy who is going to bust it for 20 yards on the very first play and keep it rolling, he's going to need some carries to hit his stride.

But once he hits that stride, it will be pretty to watch.

He may only get one, two, three yards on his first five to 10 carries, but that 11th carry will be a 25-yard scamper and then nothing less than five yards on each carry thereafter. Correll Buckhalter was the same way, however, and we saw how often he ever got to get going.

If you feed McCoy, he will produce. However, if you don't run the ball and continue to go through the air, the offense will not be able to give the defense any time to rest and Jay Cutler will go off.

If Kyle Orton can throw three touchdowns against them last year, Cutler could easily throw five.

This will hinge upon Reid's commitment to the running game, and McDermott's commitment to getting back to getting after the quarterback and doing what that defense does best. If both coaches can do that, the Eagles should win this game fairly easily, as they're obviously the more talented team.

However, if the Birds continue to pass and sit in coverage on defense, this Bears team will absolutely march all over them.

Quintin Mikell said this is the Eagles' "Super Bowl," so let's hope it gets treated that way by all 53 guys -- and the coaching staff.

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