— Philadelphia @ Chicago
Week 2 this Eagles defense kind of got lit up by the Cowboys offense and they answered the bell. In watching that Eagles/Cowboys game I remember thinking boy both the offenses look good but where are the defenses? They answered that question the next week. You take a Jim Johnson defense and you know one thing, they are definitely going to blitz and when they hold back on their blitzing, maybe like they did against Dallas, they are not as good. When they go out and blitz or have the threat of blitzing like they did against Pittsburgh they are about as tough a defense to play against as there is in the NFL.
The thing that makes playing against Donovan McNabb tough is that you can rush him and when you get there he can escape and still throw the ball. The Bears know that they have to rush him, get pressure on him and then when you get there you have to get him to ground because if you don't he is one of those guys that just getting there and disrupting his timing maybe making him run around you doesn't hurt him. The keys for the Bears defense is playing four quarters and if they get a lead don't give it up and if you get to McNabb, get him to the ground.
In trying to get a read on this Bears team it is tough through the preseason and the first couple of weeks. I saw them in training camp and preseason and I didn't think they were very good and then we do their first regular season game and they beat the Colts and looked good doing it. So the question is do you judge them by what you saw early or what you saw in the last couple of games? They are capable of being a borderline playoff team but they have to play 100 percent. They can't have lapses in their play.
Baltimore @ Pittsburgh
I think it is going to be tough without Willie Parker. Historically the Steelers have a hard time with the Ravens defense, and without Willie Parker it is going to be that much tougher. Rashard Mendenhall will start as a rookie and he may eventually be okay, but he is not going to put a lot of fear into the Baltimore Ravens. We can talk about Ben Roethlisberger and Hines Ward but what they really are is a running team. Everything is based off the run and they can create good situations on third down by doing that and when they want to pass on first down they run the play-action pass and be very successful. Without Willie Parker a lot of that goes away.