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Eagles-Bears matchup of the day: Friday

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's Week 12 battle between the Eagles and Bears.

Eagles' pass defense vs. Bears QB Jay Cutler

If the Bears are going to prove they deserve to be considered one of the NFC's elite teams on Sunday, Cutler can't be as reckless as he has been at other times this season and in years past. The Eagles have forced more turnovers than any other team in the league with 26, and 19 of those takeaways have been interceptions. Since he was traded before last season, Chicago is 2-8 in games when Cutler has thrown more than one pick, and seven of his 10 interceptions this season have come in the past four outings.

Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott has many complex blitzes to throw at Cutler, and the Eagles likely will come after Chicago's porous offensive line with extra pressure. It will be up to Cutler to get rid of the ball quickly and he'll be taking a major risk if he throws into a crowd of players.

Philadelphia could be without CB Asante Samuel on Sunday and it would be a bit of a relief to Cutler if one of the top ballhawks in the league is playing at less than 100 percent or relegated to watching from the sideline. Samuel hasn't practiced this week after spraining his MCL in Week 11 and will likely be a game-time decision. He leads the league in interceptions with seven.

The Eagles also lost CB Ellis Hobbs, who started seven of the first eight games, for the season in Week 11 after he suffered a neck injury on a kickoff return. Dimitri Patterson will start at corner for the fourth consecutive game and Joselio Hanson is expected to fill in for Samuel if he doesn't play.

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