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Pre-Gamer: Eagles vs. Bears

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    NEWSLETTERS

    In a battle of 7-3 division leaders, the Eagles are coming into Chicago as three-point favorites. What do you need to know before the 3:15 p.m. CT kickoff?

    Michael Vick is, uh, kind of good
    : As we've mentioned a few times this week, the Philadelphia QB is currently playing better football than anyone else in the NFL. The Bears defense, currently the best in the league, will have a tall task in stopping him.

    Samuel stayed home: Asante Samuel, the league's interception leader, will not play on Sunday because of a knee injury. He didn't make the trip with the team, but the Bears shouldn't expect that the Eagles passing D will ease up on Jay Cutler one bit.

    Goin' streaking
    : Julius Peppers is known to have good and bad streaks of play. Last week, he was named the NFC Defensive player of the week after notching six tackles, three sacks and a tipped pass that turned into an interception against the Dolphins. Hopefully, that streak will continue.

    To their health
    : The Bears practiced with a full complement on Thursday, so Lovie Smith and the coaching staff will face a good problem in choosing 45 active players.

    Blitzkrieg pop
    : Though the Eagles D isn't as strong as the Bears, it does feature a nasty, nasty blitz. The Bears O-line has devoted practice time to identifying schemes that set up the blitz.

    Record watch
    : Devin Hester is one return TD shy of becoming the NFL's all-time leader in return TDs. If the Ridiculous One breaks through for a score, it will be his 14th.

    History lesson: The Bears lead the Eagles 26-9-1 in the all-time series, but the Eagles have won the last five of six. That includes a 2001 playoff loss to Philly where Hugh Douglass hurt Bears QB Jim Miller's shoulder by driving him into the ground well after the play ended. (Not that we hold grudges, but we TOTALLY hold grudges.)

    Weather
    : Finally, football weather! A high of 45, sunny skies and low winds make for a perfect game day at Soldier Field.