If the Redskins beat the Cowboys, the Eagles can clinch the NFC East with a win. If the Cowboys win, the Eagles have to play them for the division crown in Week 17. If the Lions lose to the Giants AND the Packers lose to the Steelers, the Bears also have a chance to clinch their division. On the other hand, if the Lions lose and the Packers win then the Bears don't have much to play for other than playoff seeding.
So, it's interesting because the meaning of this game could go in several different directions.
1) The Eagles are playing for the NFC East AND the Bears are playing for the NFC North.
2) The Eagles are playing for the NFC East, but the Bears aren't playing for anything.
3) The Bears are playing for the NFC North, but the Eagles aren't playing for anything.
4) The Eagles and the Bears both aren't playing for anything.
The context of this match-up will be set up as the results of the earlier games unfold. Chip Kelly said he intends on playing the Eagles' starters no matter what, but Marc Trestman said he's open to resting the starters if the situation is in their favor. For now, let's assume both the Eagles and Bears are playing their starters and it's a meaningful game.
It's going to be a challenge for the Eagles' defense. The Bears obviously have a great offense. Alshon Jeffrey, Brandon Marshall, and Matt Forte are serious threats. Jay Cutler isn't always perfect but he's still more than a capable passer. The Eagles won't be able to shut down this offense. The Bears will get theirs on this side of the ball.
The Eagles should be able to get theirs as well. LeSean McCoy is leading the Eagles' number one ranked rushing attack against Chicago's dead last ranked run defense. The Bears are allowing around 200 rushing yards per game on the road. That's ridiculous. It could and should be a big day for Shady. Give him the ball, Chip!
This game has the making of a shootout. It's a prime time game. The weather will be warm. The stakes could be high. Two high powered offenses, and two less-than-ideal (that's putting it generously) defenses.
The Eagles will be up for this game. I see Dallas losing to the Redskins for a number of reasons: the Cowboys are bad on the road (2-5), have been struggling lately (terrible, terrible defense), it's Mike Shanahan's last chance to go out with dignity, and it's London Fetcher's last game at home. The Skins will get the job done and then the Eagles will take care of business with a big, crazy win over the Bears on national television. Eagles win and clinch the division. Simple as that.
Score prediction: 42-35, Eagles win.
Bold prediction: Eagles clinch the NFC East with a Cary Williams Game Winning Pick-Six
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