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The week nine finale has the Chicago Bears (4-3) heading to Lincoln Financial field to take on the Philadelphia Eagles (3-4).
The Bears are coming off their bye riding a two-game winning streak. The offense is being led by RB Matt Forte who is fifth in the league with 96 yards rushing per game with a 5.4 yard per carry average.
Forte is also the team’s leading receiver with 59.9 yards per game. The passing game should be helped out with the return of reliable WR Earl Bennett coming back from a chest injury, but Forte may have to carry the load on the ground against the Eagles 17th ranked rush defense which is giving up 118.3 yards per game. Bears QB Jay Cutler, whose passer rating of 84.0 is 18th in the league, is coming up against the ninth-ranked pass defense.
The ‘Dream Team’ secondary of the Eagles will restrict Cutler’s targets while he attempts to stay upright having been sacked 21 times, fourth worst in the league. The 'X' factor for the Bears will be star returner Devin Hester. Hester is averaging 26.8 yards on kick returns with a long of 98 yards which resulted in a touchdown. On punt returns, he averages 14.9 yards per return with a long of 69 and a touchdown. Hester could tilt field position in favor of the Bears, giving Cutler the ability to drive with quick out passes to avoid the Eagle rush.
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The Eagles come into this game number one in total offense averaging 449.3 yards per game and the leading the league in rushing averaging 179.9 yards per game. QB Michael Vick is averaging 264.6 passing yards per game and has a QB rating of 90. While this is good enough for 11th in the league, Vick is averaging 60.3 ground yards per game, which makes him 24th in the league in rushing.
RB LeSean McCoy picks up the offense after that with a league leading average of 107.7 rushing yards per game, an average of 5.6 yards per carry. They come up against Chicago’s 11th ranked rush defense which is giving up 108.7 yards per game. On the defensive side, while the Eagles may have underachieved to date, on paper their secondary is one of the best in the league led by corners Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuels, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie who will look to take away the Bear’s passing game. Coupled with strong pass rush led by DE Jason Babin, who is fourth in the league with nine sacks, it could be a long night for Jay Cutler.
FOX Business has evaluated the win/loss and stock market statistics over the past 20 seasons of Monday night NFL games and come up with a Monday Night Markets (MNM) score for each team based on their record and the prior week’s market activity. Let’s take a look at what the markets have to say.
The major indexes showed losses for the week with the Dow Industrials closing out the week down 2.03%, bringing a five week winning streak to a close. The S&P 500 was also down losing 2.48% ending a four week winning streak. The markets were pressured by ongoing concern about the debt and political turmoil in Greece which overshadowed modestly upbeat jobless claims and factory orders data and the Fed’s promise to step in with additional stimulus if needed.
Over the past 20 years, the Bears have played 28 Monday night games and based on our calculations have a Monday night rank of .500 when the Dow closes the prior week down and 0.364 when the S&P 500 is down giving them a MNM rank for this week of 0.432.
During the same 20 year period, the Eagles have played 35 Monday night games and have a rank of 0.750 when the Dow is down and 0.714 when the S&P 500 is down giving them an MNM rank this week of 0.732.
Monday Night Markets picks the Eagles at home.
FBN STAFF PICKS - WEEK 9
Robert Gray (5-3)
The media hype machine, in Philadelphia and around the NFL, painted this year’s Eagles squad as the best football team since AC Milan defended its European Champions League title in 1990 (the last club to do so). After a humbling start, this so-called Dream Team of the gridiron will continue climbing back into contention with a hard-fought victory over the visiting Bears.
Sandra Smith (6-3)
Chris Cotter (6-3)
Eagles are on a mission to make the playoffs. Which they will do and the will keep the momentum going with a win at home against the bears.
FOX BUSINESS NETWORK FOOTBALL INDEX