Key Matchup: Tait vs. Kearse

The Bears entertained trying to sign Jevon Kearse, but were outbid by the Eagles. As a result, John Tait ended up in Chicago and will face Kearse on Sunday.

Eagles DLE Jevon Kearse, who had three sacks last week, vs. Bears ORT John Tait, who signed in the off-season as an unrestricted free agent for $33 million.

Kearse is the key to the Eagles' pass rush. He had three sacks last week. Tait is one of the league's better right tackles, though Kearse' quickness will give him problems.

Bears QB Jonathan Quinn, who at times appears to be a sack waiting to happen, vs. the Eagles' pass rush, which is tied for first in the NFL with 14 sacks.

Bears DLE Adewale Ogunleye, who led the AFC with 15 sacks last season and had two last week, vs. Eagles ORT Jon Runyan.

Eagles coach Andy Reid v. Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera. Rivera spent five years on Reid's staff. He knows Reid's offensive tendencies and knows defensive coordinator Jim Johnson's blitz packages.

Eagles Lbs v. Bears RB Thomas Jones. Jones is the key to the Bears' offense. Eagles need to keep him contained, both in the run game and the passing game.

It will be imperative for the Bears to slow down the Eagles' pass rush by establishing an effective ground game, which they've done with great success this season. RB Thomas Jones leads the NFC with 329 rushing yards, and the Bears are third in the NFL with 152 rushing yards per game. When they do throw, the Bears will stress to new starting QB Jonathan Quinn that he must get rid of the ball quickly or perish. Quinn, who will be making his second start in six years, sometimes seems to have separation anxiety when it comes to getting rid of the ball. That tendency could be fatal against the Eagles' pass-rush pressure, which seems to come from all angles and gets to its intended target in a hurry.

Defensively the Bears cannot allow Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, a Chicago native, the time to pick apart an injury-ravaged secondary as Daunte Culpepper did last week. Bears DLE Adewale Ogunleye began paying dividends on his $33.4 million contract last week with two sacks, two forced fumbles and a recovered fumble. Now he needs some of his fellow d-linemen to follow suit. But, unless Brian Urlacher returns to the lineup after missing last week's game with a re-aggravated hamstring injury, the Bears will struggle to stop anyone's running game.

With the Bears starting inexperienced Jonathan Quinn at quarterback Sunday, the Eagles hope to force Quinn to throw more than he wants, either by jumping out to an early lead or shutting down the Bears' ground game. Offensively, the Eagles will go to the air and attack a wounded Bears secondary that will be missing three of its four starters.

MLB Brian Urlacher is listed as questionable, but it is doubtful that the Bears will risk him further aggravating a hamstring injury with an open date next week. This way he'll be 100 percent before he returns on Oct. 17.

--OG Mike Gandy was back at practice Wednesday and Thursday after missing last week following a hamstring injury that knocked him out of the Week Two Packers game in the first quarter. He is expected to be able to play will regain his starting spot from Steve Edwards.

--SS Bobby Gray left the Vikings game Sunday with a stinger, but he has been upgraded from questionable to probable.

--TE Desmond Clark (ankle, probable) and backup FB Jason McKie (probable, knee) practiced this week and should play Sunday.

--RG Jermane Mayberry is questionable with a torn bicep in his arm. The Eagles think he should be able to play, but if he can't, Steve Sciullo will start in his place. Sciullo started 13 games for the Colts last season before being claimed on waivers by the Eagles.

--TE L.J. Smith is questionable with a shoulder bruise. Even though he didn't practice Wednesday, Andy Reid is reasonably confident he'll play Sunday. If Smith can't play, it would adversely affect both the running and passing game.

--LB Jason Short, one of the club's top special teams players, is questionable with a high ankle sprain. He didn't practice Wednesday and there's a good chance he won't be able to play Sunday against Chicago.

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