With the Chicago Bears traveling to Philly this weekend to face the Eagles, they’ll be running into a familiar team with some even more familiar faces. Let’s jump right into it.
Here are a few things to keep an eye on this weekend:
Jordan Howard vs. His Former Team
This Bears team is well aware of who’s going to be the bell cow at running back on Sunday when they travel to Philadelphia. Especially Tarik Cohen:
As we know, Jordan Howard was traded this past off-season from the Bears to the Eagles for a 6th round pick in 2020 that could turn into a 5th, so he’s no stranger to this team and has a lot of friends still playing in Chicago. It will be interesting to see how he performs in the game and plays with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. So far this year in 8 games, he’s got 100 rushes for 443 yards and 5 TD’s on the ground with another 9 catches for 68 yards and a TD through the air. This is all while splitting time with rookie Miles Sanders.
I think the Bears are realizing how hard it’s been to replace his 1000+ total yards and 9 TD’s from last year after running him out of town. I never did get the reasoning. I get that he wasn’t “Nagy’s guy” but Howard has been pretty good since he entered the league. I don’t know the current status, but going into the season, the only players since 2016 with more rushing yards than him were Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley. Not bad. Your move David Montgomery…
Alshon Jeffery vs His Former Team
So last year, right before the playoff game against the Eagles, Alshon had some bulletin board material comments about the city of Chicago…
“I love the city of Philadelphia. Chicago is just where I was for work.”Via Zack Rosenblatt
After spending 5 seasons with the Chicago Bears, even if often injured, this came as a bit of a shock to Bears fans. Although he wasn’t re-signed, it never seemed like there was a hatred between him and the team. Ok, maybe based off that comment, “hate” is a strong word.
He later clarified what he meant via Ian Rapoport:
Alright Alshon, fair enough. No one in Chicago liked the coaching staff or GM while you were here either… Unfortunately, we’re trending towards that same direction.
Since signing with the Eagles (and winning a Superbowl), Alshon has played the Bears twice. Once at home and once at Soldier Field (last years playoffs). Here’s how he did:
- 2017 – 5 rec / 52 yds / 1 TD – Eagles won 31-3
- 2018 – 6 rec / 82 yds / 0 TD – We all know how that game turned out….
So he didn’t exactly light the world on fire the two times he’s played against his former team, but he’s gotten the W. After playing the Bears twice already, I think any sort of “revenge game” is out the window for him.
Nagy’s Play Calling
At this point, it’s just a matter of “what questionable calls will Nagy have next?” unfortunately. He’s got a questionable game plan streak going of not running the ball, followed by his late-game FG management. Walking into Philly, you have to be on your game in that environment. Side note: it would be quite the experience to hear what kind of insults the Philly fans are going to throw at this Bears team. They have like unlimited material.
Anyway, back to Nagy…he seemed to finally correct the run game play calling after a history-of-the-Bears low rushing attempt game against the Chargers. Let’s see what adjustments he makes this week. I feel like he (should) take advantage of the Philly secondary which is allowing 256.1 YPG passing which is good enough for 21st in the league. On the flip side of that though, their run defense is allowing 90.5 YPG. That’s good enough for Top-10. It should be a pretty straightforward game plan (without completely abandoning the run game, Nagy), if there’s a defense for Trubisky to take advantage of, this secondary is a great candidate…. I won’t hold my breath though.
Ahhhh last but not least, the Bears team as a whole. The double-doink. It will go down in Bears history, hell Chicago history, as one of the most heartbreaking losses of all time. It’s obvious. The Bears should WANT revenge in this game. If they don’t, that’s a whole-nother problem. Granted this game isn’t in the playoffs, but I would argue it has playoff implications for the Bears. even though the season isn’t even half over. If they don’t win this game they’re all but finished as far as playoff hopes go in my opinion. They’ve already blown opportunities that should have been wins, now they need to win some “underdog games”, starting with this one. A remaining schedule including the Vikings, Packers, Chiefs, Rams, and Cowboys isn’t going to be easy. I think the Lions have a better team than people give them credit for as well, and the Bears have a date with them twice in the second half of the season.
Do I hope the Bears are going to win? Of course. Do I think they’re going to win? No. With the Bears’ luck, Howard is gonna have 100+ yards and 2 TD’s just to stick it to the Bears. The only things that give me hope about this game is a suspect Eagles secondary and that they have more wins on the road this year than at home……. I know, I’m reaching.