On the one hand, the Eagles have the most wins in the NFL against teams with winning records. They've certainly earned their NFC East lead thus far. But on the other hand, they've been very fortunate to face some teams with serious offensive line deficiencies. We covered the Cowboys' issues with their aging OL during the preseason - The Eagles will get 2 cracks at that unit later this season. We've also covered the Giants' severely banged up OL, and the Giants didn't even bother trying to run behind their patchwork left side last Sunday night in Philly. The Eagles have already played 4 games against teams that are in the top 10 in the NFL in sacks allowed (the Redskins twice, the 49ers, and the Jaguars). This week, the Eagles face the Chicago Bears, who have surrendered a league high 37 sacks, and have had virtually no continuity with their offensive line all season long.
They began their season by moving former RT Chris Williams over to LT, former RG Roberto Garza over to LG, a rookie (Lance Louis) at RG, and they shifted former LG Frank Omiyale over to RT. This is how it looked:
|Chris Williams||Roberto Garza||Olin Kreutz||Lance Louis||Frank Omiyale|
That unit lasted 2 weeks, as Chris Williams went down with a hamstring injury, at which point they moved Omiyale from RT over to LT, and Kevin Shaffer filled in at RT:
|Frank Omiyale||Roberto Garza||Olin Kreutz||Lance Louis||Kevin Shaffer|
This look also lasted 2 weeks, but Lance Louis and Kevin Shaffer couldn't capitalize on their opportunities. So they moved Edwin Williams in at RG and rookie 7th round pick J'Marcus Webb filled in at RT:
|Frank Omiyale||Roberto Garza||Olin Kreutz||Edwin Williams||J'Marcus Webb|
This lineup only lasted one week, as Chris Williams replaced Roberto Garza at LG.
|Frank Omiyale||Chris Williams||Olin Kreutz||Edwin Williams||J'Marcus Webb|
The Bears ran with this lineup for 2 weeks, before replacing Edwin Williams with Garza at RG:
|Frank Omiyale||Chris Williams||Olin Kreutz||Roberto Garza||J'Marcus Webb|
So this is where they currently stand. They've gone with Omiyale, C. Williams, Kreutz, Garza, and Webb for the past 3 weeks and this should be the starting lineup this week against the Eagles. Only Olin Kreutz has started every game at one position. Kreutz is a 13 year vet and perhaps the only player on the Bears offensive line that might be considered an above average NFL starter. With that said, he's a 13 year vet, is among the 15 oldest starting offensive linemen in the NFL, and is very much in decline. The rest of the Bears offensive line is below average, with the weakest link probably being J'Marcus Webb, who is struggling mightily in his rookie season.
With Asante Samuel out this week, the Eagles' defensive front will need to exploit this unit and get to Jay Cutler early and often.