In the Philadelphia Eagles last matchup with an NFC North team, the secondary was made to look silly against the last place Minnesota Vikings. Now, just a week later, the Philadelphia secondary will need to try and find a way to shut down the first place Chicago Bears, which currently boasts one of the hottest receiving tandems in the game.
Alshon Jeffery, the more recent success story of the two spotlight wide receivers, has scored four touchdowns in his last three games. In just his second year in the league, he has already established himself among other elite receivers, as far as production is concerned. Currently, both he and counterpart, Brandon Marshall, rank in the top ten in the NFL in regards to receiving yards in 2013. Marshall, who has more experience than Jeffery, has really seen his best time in the league once joining the Bears two years ago. The tandem presents matchup problems for opposing defenses in terms of both speed and size. This week will be no different against Philadelphia.
The Eagles secondary has been a problem for most of the season, giving up big plays, penalties and tons of space for the opposition. More recently, they had seemed to be coming around a bit, but the total lack of ability really showed through against the Vikings. It makes it more concerning that Minnesota was missing their normal run attack in Adrian Peterson, making the pass the obvious choice. The Eagles still couldn’t stop what they knew was coming.
With Chicago coming to town looking to hold onto their division lead, the Eagles’ secondary will have a tough matchup all night long. It will be their ability to gain turnovers and build confidence against a strong receiving group that will really determine how well the defense produces, come Sunday. In order for the defense to regain the form they had during the Eagles’ five-game win streak, the changes and adjustments need to begin against the pass, where players in the secondary step up and provide the coverage Philadelphia so desperately needs.