Kickoff: Sunday, 3:15 CT
Television: FOX – Dick Stockton and Brian Baldinger
Series: 38th meeting, including two playoff games. Bears lead 26-10-1, but the Eagles have won the last five meetings, defeating the Bears in 2004, `02, `01 (divisional-round playoff), `00 and 1999. The Bears have scored just 66 points in the five losses.
KEYS TO THE GAME
The Bears offense is being exposed with RB Cedric Benson averaging just 3.1 yards per carry, and with 11 catches in six games he's not providing the same versatility Thomas Jones did. It's an ominous sign going up against a defense that has allowed just six touchdowns in 57 possessions. QB Brian Griese has an emerging weapon in rookie TE Greg Olsen, who needs to be involved with the Eagles holding opponents to 36.1 percent success on third downs. ... The Eagles don't have a physical freak like Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, but expect head coach Andy Reid to test the Bears' run defense after watching film of the Vikings romping over Chicago for 311 rushing yards last Sunday. Rushing the passer is still the Bears' defensive strength, and with QB Donovan McNabb still suffering from diminished mobility the offense once again revolves around RB Brian Westbrook as a runner and receiver.
Bears: CB Nathan Vasher (groin) isn't expected to play until after the Nov. 4 bye. OG Ruben Brown (shoulder) and DTs Tommie Harris (hamstring) and Darwin Walker (knee) have been limited in practice but will play.
Griese has six interceptions in three starts, the same amount the benched Rex Grossman had in three starts. ... Eagles DE Trent Cole has 6.0 sacks, and the line has 16 of the team's 19 sacks overall.
CB Trumaine McBride
Nam Y. Huh/AP Images
Bears: S Danieal Manning, who has spent time at safety and corner in the past few weeks because of injuries in the secondary and has struggled to handle both jobs, is back exclusively at free safety where he will start on Sunday. ... SS Adam Archuleta, who was benched last week at halftime after he had trouble wrapping up because of a broken right hand, will be back in the starting lineup Sunday. ... Vasher (groin) will miss at least one more week and could also miss Week 8, since it is followed by the Bears' bye and would give him an additional week to rehab. ... CB Trumaine McBride, a seventh-round draft pick, is expected to start in place of Vasher. ... CB Ricky Manning Jr., the Bears' nickel corner, will remain in that role Sunday and not move to the starting corner spot opened up by Vasher's injury.
Eagles: CB Lito Sheppard, who has been out since Week 1 with an MCL knee sprain, practiced fully for the second straight day, which means he is likely to play Sunday against the Bears. ... CB William James, who has started the last four games in place of the injured Sheppard, will go back to his nickel corner role Sunday with Sheppard expected to return to the lineup. ... Smith didn't practice for the second straight day. Still nursing a groin injury, Smith played Sunday after missing the previous game but is been experiencing soreness. ... LT William Thomas wasn't able to practice Thursday. Thomas has an MCL knee sprain. He played Sunday against the Jets but missed the previous game because of the injury. The Eagles think he will be able to play Sunday against Chicago. ... Dawkins, who has missed the last three games with a neck stinger, practiced on a limited basis Thursday but remains unlikely to play this week against the Bears. Mikell will start again at free safety if Dawkins can't go.
Eagles 23, Bears 20.
- Comparing Urlacher to Butkus and Singletary
- "New" Soldier Field vs. "Old" Soldier Field
- Reliving the 61-7 win over Green Bay in 1980
- An excerpt from Cindi Dammann's Tailgating Tales
- Getting to know LB Jamar Williams
All of that plus much more in the latest issue of ...
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