We continue our game-by-game preview of the Eagles' 2016 schedule with Philadelphia's Week 2 opponent: the Chicago Bears. (Click here for the Week 1 preview.)
The Eagles' game against the Bears is scheduled to take place on Monday Night Football. It's Philadelphia's first of four prime-time games set to take place this season. There was a stretch in the past where it almost felt like the Bears were in the NFC East because the Eagles played them every year from 2007 through 2013, save for 2012.
The last time the Eagles and Bears met was that late December game in 2013 where the Birds blew Chicago out of the water. The Bears had the chance to clinch the NFC North with a win and the Eagles had virtually nothing to play for, but Philadelphia won by a final score of 54-11. It's safe to say this year's game, which takes place in Chicago, probably won't be that easy for the Eagles. It shouldn't be impossible, either. The Bears are coming off a 6-10 season. A lot of Jay Cutler's career-best success in 2015 was credited to former offensive coordinator (and former Eagles head coach target) Adam Gase, who left to become head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Meanwhile, John Fox is looking to improve Chicago's defense in his second year on the job as head coach.
Here’s a more in-depth look at the Bears from our SB Nation friends over at Windy City Girdiron.
Notable free agent additions:
ILB Danny Trevathan, ILB Jerell Freeman, DL Akiem Hicks, RT Bobby Massie
Notable free agent departures:
RB Matt Forte
TE Martellus Bennett
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:
1st Round OLB Leonard Floyd will at the very least be in on passing downs to rush the passer. His coverage skills could be put to use as well.
2nd Round OL Cody Whitehair is in line to start at left guard.
3rd Round DL Jonathan Bullard will be in the defensive line rotation.
5th Round RB Jordan Howard will be part of the Bears' backfield by committee. The power element he adds could give him the edge on short yardage and goal line situations.
Biggest offseason addition:
The two free agent inside linebackers will help get the Bears defense back to being respectable. Trevathan and Freeman are so much better (like really, really, better) than last year's duo of Shea McClellin and Christian Jones.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp:
There are a lot of story lines to pick from, but I think most fans are excited to see 2015 first round draft pick Kevin White finally healthy. He missed all of last season with a shin injury, and if he's all he's cracked up to be, he will add a huge playmaker to the offense.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp:
So many to choose from, like the revamped front seven gelling, the running back by committee taking shape, the safety position figuring itself out, Jay Cutler meshing with new offensive coordinator, but a more obscure storyline could be 7th round pick Daniel Braverman. He's a smallish and shifty slot receiver that Bears' fans are already rooting for. If he has a good camp then follows it up was a decent preseason, some fans will have their new favorite player.
Notable injuries heading into training camp:
Fourth wide out Marquess Wilson broke his foot again and may end up on the PUP list. Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee is recovering from offseason knee surgery, but he should be 100% for training camp.