I don't normally get amped up about a Monday night game unless it features my team but there is something about this Monday's game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Chicago Bears that just stands out as being special. More than likely, it's that both these teams are clearly in 'must-win' mode and that with desperation, usually there is a good chance that you are going to see thing not regularly seen on the the field.
For the Eagles, it has been a season of disappointment. Coming into this year, Philly was heavily touted as the team to beat in the NFC, but once the games started being played, it was clear that there was some discord brewing behind this NFL version of a 'dream team'. After winning their first game, Philly then went on to lose four straight, dropping them to the cellar of the NFC East. Hard work and determination, however, got them 2 straight wins headed into tonight's game and though they still remain 3 games back of the Giants in their division, hope isn't lost on these players.
"I think it's going to be a work in progress until the end of the year, but I see it clicking with a lot of the guys," Eagles right tackle Todd Herremans said. "And you're definitely starting to see it take the form of production on the field."
For the Bears, it's been a somewhat slow start combined with sharing the same division as the Packers and Lions (a combined 14-2) that has put them into desperation mode. Like Philly, Chicago has been very erratic on both sides of the ball but also like Philly, they seem to have found something within the past two weeks. With two impressive wins over Minnesota and Tampa Bay, Chicago has rose above .500 and is looking to make a run at a wild card spot.
In order to secure that spot, however, they need to win games which is why every one of these matchups are key for the Bears postseason chances. With running back Matt Forte emerging as the top back in the league and a defense that can be dominant in stretches, Chicago is a team that is built for the playoffs. It's just getting there that will be rough.
Monday night games this year haven't always lived up to the hype of being the only NFL game on, in a prime-time spot no less, but tonight's game has all the feel of being a special one. Panic can sometimes breed excellence and with both teams need this win in the worst way, we could be in for something very special.
I predict a Philadelphia win over Chicago, 27-24.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS