Tag:Matt Toeaina
Posted on: January 20, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 1:36 pm

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

Posted by Andy Benoit

CBSSports.com's patented and award-winning 7-point preview gets you ready for each and every playoff game. As a bonus, enjoy our playoff podcast preview:

1. Green Bay Packers (No. 6, NFC, 12-6) @ Chicago Bears (No. 2, AFC, 12-5)

The oldest rivalry in football takes center stage in the playoffs for only the second time ever. Their last postseason meeting occurred in 1941, a week after Pearl Harbor. We’ll assume that the Bears’ momentum from that 33-14 victory has worn off.

Vegas agrees, as these Bears are actually three-and-a-half-point underdogs at home. These teams played twice in the regular season. Chicago claimed victory in Week 3 (that was the Monday night game where Mike McCarthy should have saved clock by letting the Bears score a touchdown in the final minute but instead banked on the idea that Robbie Gould would miss a 19-yard field goal – which, of course, he did not.) In the Week 17 rematch, the Bears technically had nothing to play for, but they still went all-out in an effort to stay sharp and eliminate a white-hot Packers team from playoff contention. They held Aaron Rodgers and company to just 10 points, but as it turned out, they needed to hold them to two.

2. PLAYOFFS?! Watchability Ranking

If a conference championship game -- featuring two division rivals squaring off in the playoffs for the second time EVER -- doesn't garner five Mora Faces, what does?

3. Key Matchup to Watch: Bears secondary vs. Packers receivers

Rodgers is playing so well right now that even getting pressure on him might not pay off. After all, the Falcons got plenty of clean rushers to him last Saturday. The Bears’ best chance at slowing Green Bay’s passing attack is to out-physical Rodgers’ targets. Charles Tillman especially will have to be aggressive. He’s far and away Chicago’s best cover corner but, like most players, he lacks the quickness to shadow Greg Jennings.

Style wise, No. 2 corner Tim Jennings has a skill set that is conducive for handling Donald Driver. But all things equal, Tim Jennings on Driver is a mismatch favoring Green Bay. So it will be up to Jennings and his assisting safeties to make things unequal. The way to do that is to disrupt route timing; Driver shows hints of frustration when defensive backs get their hands on him.

Expect the Packer to use frequent three-and four-receiver formations. Chicago’s top backup defensive backs, Corey Graham, has stiff hips and struggles with receivers who change direction; Jordy Nelson or James Jones could both pose problems for him. What’s more, Chicago’s safeties are hard-hitting but only average in help coverage.

4. Potentially Relevant Video

Why not?

5. The Bears will win if ...

They protect the ball offensively (obviously) and, defensively, if they can get pressure on Aaron Rodger with only four rushers (very doable given the way Julius Peppers, Matt Toeaina, Israel Idonije, Tommie Harris and even backup Henry Melton have been playing lately). Also, Chicago must force the Packers to rely most frequently on their running backs and tight ends. That would allow the Bears athletic linebacking trio to be the focal point defensively.

6. The Packers will win if ...

Rodgers stays hot, Dom Capers’ complex defense befuddles the Bears’ pass blockers (a group that has had trouble identifying blitzes at times) and both teams break even on special teams.

7. Prediction: Packers 24, Bears 17
Posted on: December 27, 2010 6:02 pm

Toeaina gets rewarded for breakout season

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When the Bengals drafted Matt Toeaina in the sixth round of the 2007 Draft, he wasn’t expected to make an immediate impact. They stashed him on their practice squad, but only a few months later, the Bears signed him to their active roster.

Though he only played six total games from 2007-09 (he was deactivated for most of the Bears contests), that move from three years ago has paid off big time for Chicago this season.

Toaina Toeaina is having a career year, playing 15 games (with 10 starts) and accumulating 28 tackles, two sacks, two pass break ups and a fumble recovery (all of which are career-bests).

Today, the Bears rewarded him with a three-year contract extension that, according to the Chicago Tribune, will pay him $2 million in guarantees.

“I got an opportunity and I had to make sure I took advantage of it - and I guess I did,” Toeaina said in a statement released by the team. “I’m looking forward to the next three years with the Bears. My family and I love it here in Chicago. We love the coaching staff, we love our teammates and we love the city.”  

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Category: NFL
Posted on: September 27, 2010 7:41 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 7:58 pm

Bears deactivate Tommie Harris

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In a surprising move, the Bears have deactivated DT Tommie Harris for tonight’s game against the Packers.

Harris The team is calling it a coach’s decision, and it doesn’t appear an injury to Harris is playing a factor in the move.

As the Chicago Tribune writes, Harris was benched for a game last season, and in 2008, he was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. The paper writes that Harris practiced all week in preparation for tonight’s game.

Harris has struggled this season. In two games, he’s made one tackle and has recovered one fumble.

Matt Toeaina will replace Harris in the starting lineup.

UPDATE (7:54 p.m.): According to the Tribune's Brad Biggs, a team official said coach Lovie Smith's decision not to play Harris is nothing more than a move to get the team's best 45 players on the field tonight and that no disciplinary measures are forthcoming. Assuming that's true, that's quite a stunning admission for the Bears.

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