Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Monday night's battle between the Bears and Eagles.
Bears pass rush vs. Eagles pass protection
Getting pressure on Michael Vick is a key to stopping him, but so is keeping contain and not allowing him to get free off the edges, or up the middle, where he can extend plays or gain yards with his legs.
The Bears have been pretty effective over the years in that effort against Vick. In the five games (three starts) that he has played against Chicago, Vick has averaged 37.4 yards rushing, which is below his career mark of 48.1 yards rushing per game, and he has thrown three touchdowns and three interceptions. He also has fumbled seven times vs. Chicago in his career.
When the Bears and Eagles met at Soldier Field in Week 12 last season, Vick ran nine times for 44 yards (4.9 average), but fumbled four times, although none were recovered by Chicago, and was sacked four times for a loss of 40 yards in a 31-26 Bears win. DEs Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije had great performances. Peppers had a sack and forced fumble and Idonije had one sack, three tackles for loss and three QB hits.
It's going to take discipline from the entire Bears defense to keep Vick from going off, but Peppers and Idonije will play a particularly important role when it comes to stopping Vick from fleeing the pocket and making things happen in the flats. If they play as well as they did last season against Eagles OTs Jason Peters and Todd Herremans, a high-flying offense could be grounded for much of the game.
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