Eagles-Bears Game Preview: 5 Q&A with Week 15 Enemy
The Philadelphia Eagles are on their way to take on the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon. For a match preview in Week 15, I reached out to our enemies at Windy City Gridiron. The gentle Patty Curl He took the time to answer my questions about this upcoming fight. Let’s take a look at the answers. [For my answers to Patti’s questions about the Eagles, stay tuned to WCG.]
Our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook All odds for this week’s matches.
1 – Justin Fields has been getting a lot of credit lately even though the Bears have been on a big losing streak. What improvements have you seen? What is the level of confidence in him now?
Honestly, it’s a little strange how much of a turn the national media has had on Justin Fields over the past couple of months. I think he deserves credit because he’s had real development and great moments, but he’s not a different player than he was at the start of the season. The promising thing for me is that he definitely benefits from getting more comfortable with his new offense and knowing what he can get away with at the NFL level. Specifically, he’s gotten better at field manipulation and trigger pulling in early readouts, he’s gotten better at dodging pass rushes, and he’s starting to get more comfortable with the tight window and anticipating throws. Ironically, it was the interception that turned the tide last week Packers The game was such a preemptive throw that the receiver didn’t live up to expectations. He also learned what he could get away with by running the ball, which happens to be many first down conversions and record-breaking frequent touchdown reps. Confidence is as high as it has been for a Bears quarterback since Cutler’s heyday, whenever you think he is. Just imagine what it would be like if he started eating meat. Imagine Galen Hurts faster with a better deep ball and smoother dance moves.
2 – How excited are you about Matt Eberflus’ progression and the Bears front office?
There was a lot to cheer for though the Bears’ record, especially with the front office. During the Ryan Pace era, Bears fans soured on his strategy of trading frequently in the draft and forgoing future resources for mediocre results. Ryan Poles takes a more prudent approach to resource management, and I agree with his assessment that the best way to weather the Bears’ roster status was a year of minimal spending to keep their spots competitive for the next couple of years. In his first draft, he did not force picks as needed, and returned several times (albeit with late picks). The big test will be what he does in the off-season, with high league space and a great selection.
Matt Eberflus brought a culture to the Bears that looks fundamentally different and more effective than Nagy. The team is more disciplined in terms of penalties, and its HITS, high effort, high effort philosophy intermittently seemed to translate into results. It would be great to see him win some of these close matches, but for now I’ll assume he learns important lessons at the right time in the non-playoff season.
3 – What is the biggest strength of the bears right now? How should they attack vultures?
Bears’ biggest strength is definitely their running game. It starts with Justin Fields, but the offensive line and skill positions in the running game are also their strengths, and Luke Getsy has done a good job of being creative and productive in the running scheme, even against teams that generally do well on defense. The defense hasn’t been good at anything lately, despite its relative strength in pass defense. The Bears’ best chance of winning the game is for Justin Fields to have magical moments that lead to loads of points and then get lucky on turnovers.
4 – What are the bears’ biggest weaknesses now? How should vultures attack them?
Can I just say trenches? The Eagles have to bully the Bears on both sides of the line and that will surely lead to a win. The Bears’ offensive line can do well on a running game and on a rushing play or pass, but they won’t be able to hold off the Eagles on “real pass combos.” On offense, the Eagles should have an easy flight across the park if they run frequently and pass when star receivers get a good game, which they should be more often than not. For now, this is like asking “What’s the best strategy for playing Madden in rookie mode”? Just do what feels fun and watch it work.
If you’ve read this far, or watched this season, you’d probably think I’d say Eagles win. But nobody called me out for being wrong on one of those, so I’m going to continue to predict the Bears win, this time 42 to 35. Justin Fields leads the Bears offense to score on every drive through sheer willpower and powerhouse dynamism, and UDFA rookie linebacker Jack Sanborn shuts out the game with A late pick 6 on the Eagles drive only not to reach the end zone.
BGN’s John Stallens interviewed WCG’s EJ Snyder for this week’s edition of Eye on the enemy for BGN Radio.
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