AL HAMNIK: Bears brace for 'Shady' dealings in Philly

2013-12-21T17:15:00Z 2013-12-29T22:44:05Z AL HAMNIK: Bears brace for 'Shady' dealings in PhillyAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
December 21, 2013 5:15 pm  • 

To the Bears defense, LeSean McCoy is Godzilla lumbering out of Tokyo Bay and flattening everything in sight.

This monster running back has rushed for 217, 184, 158 and 155 yards in games this season. Toss in his 45 pass receptions for 507 yards and it's pick your poison each time he touches the football.

"I feel I'm as deadly when we're running or passing the ball," McCoy said during his conference call this week.

The NFL's rushing leader on the No. 1 rushing offense is the worst nightmare for a much-maligned Bears defense allowing 152.4 yards per game on the ground.

Sunday Night Football on NBC seldom has a story line so simple, so mano-a-mano, regarding two division leaders fighting for their playoff lives.

McCoy feels his Eagles can score at will when coach Chip Kelly's hyper-active, up-tempo offense is clicking. So, whatcha gonna do, Bears?

These Philly fanatics average 80 offensive plays a game, though McCoy is the key.

"He cuts on a dime; there aren't too many guys like him in this league," Bears defensive lineman Corey Wootton said of McCoy. "You just see the movements he makes and how he makes people miss.

"It's crucial that we rally to the ball, get a bunch of guys there, and try to get the ball out."

Unfortunately, Charles Tillman, king of the ball punch, must sit out this dance.

"They run to the ball well," McCoy noted, "but (their) getting knocked off the line, wrong angles and missed tackles start to add up.

"If you watch the tape, a lot of guys are gashing them."

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Mel Tucker's defense, which may feel like it's trading punches with a squid tonight as the Eagles attack from all directions.

"Chip Kelly is an offensive genius," McCoy said. "He knows when to run it. He knows when to throw it. He knows how to get his play makers the ball."

He said play makers -- plural.

Quarterback Nick Foles, who leads the league with a 117.0 passer rating, has made us forget Michael Vick.

You want efficiency and dependability? Foles has passed for 23 touchdowns, two interceptions and nearly 2,400 yards. His 'Brandon Marshall' is DeSean Jackson with 76 catches for 1,275 yards and nine TDs.

"We run it. We throw it. It doesn't matter how many times I get it. You don't have to feed me the ball a million times," McCoy said. "Not with the supporting cast I have."

McCoy says his success each game, each carry, is a rhythm thing.

"Running the ball so much, you get a 'feeling' on how they're gonna play it," he said. "The first time he might get me, maybe even the second, but then I know where their weaknesses are and you keep pounding it, keep pounding it.

"You're imposing your will on them."

McCoy said every team that comes to Lincoln Financial Field targets the Eagles' run game. Most fail. Perhaps with Lance Briggs back in the lineup, the Bears won't have as many cleat marks on their chests and backs.

That embarrassing loss at Minnesota last week, while Adrian Peterson looked on, was due to several "little things" going wrong, McCoy insisted.

The man they call "shady" says it's in the past now.

"This a huge game we need to win. I got to put the offense on my back," McCoy said.

Godzilla would be so proud.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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