NFL Week 12 Preview: Bears at Eagles
The Chicago Bears visit the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
PFFELO Ranking: 25
Coverage by: Lorin Cox
Matchup: Chicago Bears offense vs. Philadelphia Eagles defense
- T Charles Leno Jr. vs. ED Derek Barnett – Over the last seven weeks, Leno has only allowed seven pressures on his 176 pass-blocking snaps, giving him a 96.7 pass-blocking efficiency rating that ranks second among left tackles over that span. His 79.8 overall grade this season is a career-high and ranks 13th among all tackles, and his 84.2 run-blocking grade ranks seventh. Barnett came on strong last week with two sacks, two hits and two hurries on just 22 pass-rushing snaps, giving him the highest pass-rushing productivity of any edge defender with at least 20 pass-rushing snaps in Week 11. On the season, Barnett is now tied for second on his team with five sacks and tied for first with eight hits.
- TE Adam Shaheen vs. LB Nigel Bradham – Shaheen was the highest-graded tight end in the NFL last week at 85.9 overall. He caught all four of his targets for 41 yards and a touchdown while remaining reliable as a blocker. On the season, he’s only run 50 pass routes in 10 games, just recently taking over as starter for the sidelined Dion Sims. Bradham has only been targeted on 33 of his 364 coverage snaps, and he’s only allowed 23 catches, giving him a 15.8 coverage snaps per reception rate than ranks second among all linebackers. His 79.7 coverage grade this season ranks 16th at his position.
- WR Dontrelle Inman vs. CB Jalen Mills – Since making his team debut in Week 10, Inman has been the Bears’ most-targeted receiver with 13 passes thrown his way. 10 of those targets have traveled 10 or more yards in the air, and seven of his targets have come in the fourth quarter. He’s only forced one missed tackle after the catch, though, and he did drop one pass as well. Mills is the 65th-highest graded cornerback this season at 74.0 overall, and he’s been the most-targeted cornerback in the NFL this year with 83 passes thrown at him on 430 coverage snaps.
Coverage by: Mike Alessandrini
Matchup: Philadelphia Eagles offense vs. Chicago Bears defense
- WR Alshon Jeffery vs. Bears cornerbacks – Coming off his best game as an Eagle, Alshon Jeffery will have extra motivation this week when he faces off against his former club. Last week against Dallas, Jeffery was targeted six times, catching four passes for 67 yards and a touchdown. His lone score was an impressive catch on a fourth-and-five play. The wide receiver gained 2.58 yards per route run in Week 11, and his 86.7 overall grade was the second best mark among receivers. This week, the Bears will use a committee approach in an attempt to slow down Jeffery. Prince Amukamara is the team’s highest-graded cornerback this season (78.4) and allowed three catches on four targets for 40 yards last week against Detroit. Kyle Fuller has been less effective, averaging 8.6 coverage snaps per reception (69th among cornerbacks) and allowing 1.64 yards per coverage snap (fourth worst).
- G Brandon Brooks vs. DI Akiem Hicks – The Eagles right guard has been a key factor in the team’s offensive success in 2017. Since arriving from Houston via free agency last offseason, Brooks has strongly impacted both the run and pass games. This season, his 83.5 run-block grade is eight best among guards, while his 86.4 pass-block grade ranks fourth. The former Texan has surrendered just nine total pressures (no sacks) in 367 pass-block snaps, giving him a 98.2 pass-blocking efficiency. This mark is second to only Zack Martin at his position. Brooks will face a stiff test from Chicago’s top interior defender. Hicks’ 87.8 overall grade ranks 14th at his position, which includes dominant run defending. His 26 run stops leads all interior defenders, while his 8.7 pass-rush productivity (seven sacks, 34 total pressures) ranks inside the top eight.
- TE Zach Ertz vs. S Adrian Amos – Philadelphia’s top target is coming off his worst game of the year in Dallas. Ertz was targeted on five passing snaps, but could only haul in two catches for eight yards. Even with the off game, the tight end is still very dangerous in the passing game. His 82.9 receiving grade ranks second at his position, and he ranks inside the top give in receptions (45) and receiving yards (536). Ertz’s 1.91 yards per route run is currently the seventh-best mark among tight ends. On the other side of the ball, Adrian Amos is having himself a breakout season in his third campaign. Amos has earned a 92.1 overall grade in 2017, which ranks second among safeties. The former Penn State Nittany Lion has been stingy in coverage, allowing 0.31 yards per coverage snap.