Eagles know Bears defense will be hungry

Ed Benkin
January 03, 2019 - 8:47 pm
While the Eagles' offense will be dealing with the Bears' defenders, the Eagles' defense will look to make its own mark on Sunday.

Ed Benkin/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — They're not the 1985 Bears, but the 2018 version of the Chicago defense has been impressive.

The Bears are in the playoffs for the first time in eight years. While the Chicago offense has had its moments, the defense has been the biggest reason why Matt Nagy's squad finished 12-4 this season.  

Bolstered by the acquisition of star lineback Khalil Mack, Chicago finished third overall in total defense, but many believe the Bears have the best defensive unit in the NFL.  Eagles center Jason Kelce doesn't see any weaknesses on the Chicago defense.

"They're good across the board." said Kelce. "Across the board up front, they're really good. They're well coached. They have good linebackers, good DBs. It's a good defense and it will be a good test for us."

At the center of the storm for Chicago is Mack, who came to the Bears in a trade with Oakland just before the start of the season. Mack has turned a good defense into an elite one and the speedy and powerful linebacker can change the course of a game at any moment. Kelce and Company have done well against the likes of defensive superstars Aaron Donald and J.J. Watt. Now comes perhaps the toughest test in Mack with the playoffs set to get underway.

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"He's one of the best in the NFL, if not the best as far as an edge pass rusher," Kelce said. "He's certainly in the conversation, to say the least. He creates a number a problems from a matchup standpoint.  He's a guy that if you're not aware of where he's at, he can wreck havoc."

The Bears are number one in the NFL against the run, so the Eagles may be forced to rely on their passing attack throughout much of the game on Sunday.

The Bears' front seven gets most of the headlines, but Chicago also has a talented secondary. Eagles wideout Nelson Agholor has been impressed with what he has seen out of the Chicago defensive backs.

"They're a really disciplined and talented group," said Agholor. "They have two safeties who are really good as well as two corners. I think they're a well-coached defense. They play to their strengths. Those guys have a good feel for each other, and I have respect for them."

While the Eagles' offense will be dealing with the Bears' defenders, the Eagles' defense will look to make its own mark on Sunday. Defensive Lineman Fletcher Cox and his teammates have to worry about the Chicago offense and Cox insists he won't be focused on trying to outperform the highly-touted Chicago defense. Cox is hoping the results will speak for themselves.

"It's not my problem to worry about their defense," Cox said. "Our defensive coordinator is Jim Schwartz and everybody loves playing for Jim. It's not our problem to worry about their defense. Obviously, we won't be on the field at the same time, but I got a really good feeling that we will be the better defense on Sunday."