The Eagles are fortunate that the early part of the 2016 regular season includes teams like the Browns and Bears. It’s not that they don’t provide their own challenges. They just allow Carson Wentz to ease into the starting role before seeing some of the tougher parts of the schedule. Facing the Bears in Week 2, the Eagles will have their first primetime event of the season on Monday Night Football.
Philly’s defensive line is envied by teams and feared by quarterbacks -- it’s the latter who have found out what happens when your offensive line falls apart and lets the big men in green into the pocket. It’s happened to Tony Romo year after year, and just last week happened to RGIII. The Eagles’ defensive line will hurt your quarterback if the offensive line lets them through.
That’s not great news for Chicago, Jay Cutler, or the Bears’ offensive line.
There are few weapons for the Chicago Bears offense, but one of those is the connection between quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. The duo connected four times in their Week 1 loss for 105 yards, but couldn’t keep the momentum going in the second half. Aside from this small glimmer of hope, Cutler couldn’t get anything going, including with wideout Kevin White, and was sacked five (!) times.
While five sacks doesn’t compete for some type of NFL record, it says enough about the offensive line’s ability to protect their quarterback, who hasn’t played a full/healthy 16-game season since his first year with the Bears in 2009. Cutler now ranks 49th, EVER, among quarterbacks sacked, with 290 career take downs.
Where the Bears OLine started/Where the Bears OLine ended up. pic.twitter.com/NKvyQdRw8g— John Barchard (@JohnBarchard) September 13, 2016
A weak offensive line for the Bears means they don’t have much of a successful run game, especially after losing Matt Forte in the offseason, and rely mostly on Jeremy Langford, who had 57 yards and a touchdown on 17 rushes in Week 1.
Even still, the Eagles’ secondary will be in for a workout if Chicago is forced to rely on it’s passing game.
When one-on-one, Jeffery can be a cornerback’s worst nightmare. He rarely loses in man-to-man situations and could get some big yardage against the Eagles’ questionable corners. Coverage will depend on the type of game Bears’ receiver Kevin White is having. If he looks like Week 1, he’ll be a non-factor, but if he looks better, he could spread the secondary thin.
There have been enough improvements with the Bears since John Fox took over to consider an Eagles win on Monday a “quality victory.” Still, Chicago will never be a viable threat until the offensive line can give Jay Cutler enough time to create offense from the pocket.