By Bryan Dietzler
The 3-7 Chicago Bears will travel to Philadelphia to take on the 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday. The Eagles have been red hot this season and present one of the toughest challenges the Bears have had to face. Chicago has played teams close this year, for the most part, and will hope to keep the score close enough Sunday to possibly upset the Eagles and knock them off track.
Let’s see if it will be possible for the Bears to, at the least, compete with the Eagles on Sunday.
The following is a quick preview of the game with some numbers, individual matchups and a few tidbits thrown in. We will also look the injury report for both teams and see how that will impact the game.
Chicago’s Offense versus Philadelphia’s Defense
We can now start using the numbers from the Bears’ passing attack as an indicator of how their passing game works. This is because quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has a few games under his belt.
The Bears’ passing offense is ranked 31st in the NFL getting just 170.4 yards per game. The Bears have started to let Trubisky throw the ball a bit more, but they need to continue to keep letting him loose even more and help them win through the air. The problem is, he doesn’t have the receivers to throw the ball to, so he is struggling along with the whole passing offense.
The Eagles pass defense is ranked 20th in the NFL allowing 238.5 yards of passing per game so the Bears, if capable, can throw on them. They may have to because they will be putting their 5th ranked rushing attack (131.8 yards per game) against the league’s number one rush defense (allowing 71 yards per game). If the Bears can’t run, their hands may be tied unless they can get that passing game going. But the passing game hasn’t shown up all year, so unless Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen can work some magic, this will be a very difficult game for the Bears to keep up in. We can only hope that the Bears can do something on offense against this stop Philadelphia’s defense.
Chicago’s Defense versus the Philadelphia Offense
The Eagles have one of the best offenses in the NFL. They have one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Carson Wentz. At wide receiver, former Chicago Bear Alshon Jeffery is set to face his old team. With some other weapons, this offense is formidable. Believe it or not though, when it comes to throwing the ball, the Eagles are getting an average of 233 yards per game which is ranked 15th in the NFL.
You would think that they are getting more through the air the way their offense is going.
Chicago’s pass defense is allowing 213 yards per game which is 11th in the NFL. Things are about even here. But the Bears will be without pass rusher Leonard Floyd for the rest of the season. Even though his sack numbers weren’t that high, his quarterback pressures and ability to force quarterbacks to move were important. The Bears will miss him.
Hopefully, the rest of the defense will be able to step up and provide some help in getting to Wentz and throwing Philadelphia’s passing game off track.
Where the Eagles shine is in running the football. They average a whopping 144.6 yards per game which is good for second in the NFL. This means that they have good running backs, including Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount as well as a strong offensive line. Will the Bears and their 12th ranked rushing defense (allowing 106 yards per game) be able to stop the Eagles powerful rushing attack?
With some key pieces missing it might be difficult for the Bears to win. However, you can bet the Bears will put up a strong effort against the Eagles. They just need to play some of their best football of the year, and they will be able to compete at least a little bit.
The Bears Friday injury report was littered with injuries especially to some starters. Here is the list of injured players heading into Sunday’s game.
Bryce Callahan-CB-He has a knee injury and was limited in practice this week. Cre’Von LeBlanc is a capable replacement, should Callahan not be able to go, but is prone to mental errors.
Tom Compton-OT-Compton, with an ankle injury, was limited in practice this week and may play on Sunday. The Bears like having him available because of the depth he provides on the offensive line.
Joshua Bellamy-WR-Bellamy suffered a concussion in the Bears’ game against the Lions and has been in the NFL’s concussion protocol. He was limited and may play on Sunday.
Akiem Hicks-DE-A knee injury kept him out of practice last week. Hopefully, he can play on Sunday because the Bears will need him against that great Eagles rushing attack.
DeAndre Houston-Carson-S-Houston-Carson missed practice this week due to an ankle injury. He provides depth at the safety position, so the Bears will hope there aren’t any injuries there should he not be able to go Sunday.
Dion Sims-TE-The tight end did practice on a limited basis after missing some time with an illness the last few days. Hopefully, he will be able to play Sunday and give Trubisky someone else to throw the ball to. Trubisky will need it.
Kyle Long-G-Long seems to always be on the injury report. He was limited in practice with an ankle injury, but it appears he will be able to play Sunday.
Dontrelle Inman-WR-The wide receiver has a groin injury and was limited this week. Hopefully, he will be able to play of the Bears receiving corps will be hurting even more.
Leonard Floyd-OLB-The outside linebacker was put injured reserve and will be out the rest of the season.
Danny Trevathan-ILB-The Bears’ star linebacker was not able to practice all week. It looks like he will miss Sunday’s game and the Bears will miss him.
Roy Robertson-Harris-DE–Harris didn’t practice with a hamstring issue all week. He will be doubtful for Sunday.
Mitch Unrein-DE-The defensive lineman was limited all week with a knee injury but looks like he will be a go.
Here are the players that the Eagles listed as injured this week:
Jake Elliot-K-Concussion-Is out of the concussion protocol and will play.
Rodney McLeod-S-Oblique-Will play.