QB MITCHELL TRUBISKY WR ALLEN ROBINSON LB ROQUAN SMITH
THE EAGLES AND THE BEARS MEET AGAIN AFTER A THRILLING PLAYOFF BATTLE
BY CHRIS McPHERSON
2019 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES GAMEDAY MAGAZINE 11
PHILADPEHLILPAHDIAE LEPAHGILAE ES AGGALMEESD GAAYM MEADGAYA ZMINAEGAZINE19111
The stakes aren’t as high as last season’s
Wild Card playoff showdown, but both the
Eagles and the Bears will look at today’s
battle at Lincoln Financial Field as a “get
right game” to kick off the second half of
Nearly 10 months ago, a tipped field goal
attempt that doinked off of both the upright
and the crossbar before falling to the ground
ended one of the amazing turnaround
stories of the 2018 season. First-year head
coach Matt Nagy inherited a 5-11 squad and
the Bears won the NFC North with a 12-4
record, the team’s best mark of the decade.
Through the first six games of 2019, the
Bears are just 3-3 in a highly competitive
NFC North. Certainly, the change from a
last-place schedule to a first-place one
has impacted the team, but there are
The Bears had the No. 1-ranked scoring
defense in the league in 2018 under
defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who was
hired by the Denver Broncos in the offseason
to be their new head coach. Chuck Pagano,
a well-respected, veteran coach, took over
the reins of the defense.
The Bears did not allow an opponent to
score more than 15 points in the first
four games, but allowed 60 total points in
consecutive losses to the Raiders and Saints.
The personnel is mostly the same except for
defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, who went on
Injured Reserve with an elbow injury. Hicks
was a Pro Bowl selection last year with 7.5
sacks and 12 tackles for loss.
Linebacker Khalil Mack is one of the best
players in the NFL, regardless of position.
He earned a 99 rating from Madden, one
of only four to receive that distinction.
One of the heavyweight battles to watch is
between Mack and All-Pro right tackle Lane
Johnson, who got the upper hand of the
former NFL Defensive Player of the Year in
the Wild Card matchup.
Chicago has a pair of disruptive middle
linebackers in Roquan Smith, the team’s
leading tackler in 2018, and Danny
Trevathan, who leads the team in stops this
season. On the back end, the Bears signed
free agent safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to round
out a veteran secondary featuring All-Pro
safety Eddie Jackson.
Offensively, the Bears capitalized on the
mistakes forced by the defense last year.
Chicago created a league-best 36 takeaways
in 2018 and the offense was ninth in scoring.
The Bears don’t generate turnovers at the
same rate this season and the offense hasn’t
progressed with third-year quarterback
Mitchell Trubisky. Through Week 7, Trubisky
averaged just 5.24 yards per pass attempt,
tied for the lowest among qualifying
quarterbacks in the league. He missed one
game with an injury to his non-throwing
shoulder, but showed in a Week 3 win over
Washington how he can still be efficient
completing 80.6 percent of his passes for
231 yards with three touchdowns against
an interception for a 116.5 rating.
Rookie David Montgomery took over the
primary running back duties after Jordan
Howard was traded to the Eagles, but is
averaging just 3.3 yards per carry through
Week 7. The Bears have a weapon in
space in running back Tarik Cohen, who is
second on the team in both receptions and
receiving yards. Listed at 5-6, 191 pounds,
Cohen hasn’t been able to make much of
an impact in the run g ame, however.
Trubisky’s top pass catcher is wide receiver
Allen Robinson. The 6-2, 220-pound
Robinson averaged 9.7 targets per game,
tied for the fifth-highest rate in the league
entering Week 8. Robinson posted 10
catches for 143 yards and a touchdown in
the playoff game against the Eagles.
The Bears pose a slew of challenges as they
look to exact revenge for the way their
2018 campaign ended. The Eagles are also
a much different team on both sides of the
ball, as quarterback Carson Wentz wasn’t
on the field in January. Plus, this one is in
Philadelphia as both teams try to right the
ship after uneven starts in 2019.