8 Questions – Eagles vs Bears

Eagles vs Bears recent history:

Week 16 2013 – Eagles 54 Bears 11

Week 9 2011 – Eagles 24 Bears 30

Week 12 2010 – Eagles 26 Bears 31

Can Carson Wentz keep it rolling vs the Bears?

It wasn’t hard at all to come up with this question.  Let’s be honest, all eyes again will be on the kid Carson Wentz.  He was outstanding last week vs the Browns.  The Bears in this week 2 match-up are a different animal.  Wentz had an easy time making audibles and calls at the line during the Browns game.  On the road he will have a more difficult time with what will be a pumped up Bears Crowd.  The Bears coming off a loss to the Texans will be ready to play.  The Bears defense struggled against the Texans offense.  Their secondary consisting of Amos, Jones – Quarterly, Porter and Callahan graded out per PFF as follows: Amos – 75.5, Jones-Quarterly 71.0, Porter – 39.4 and Callahan – 78.5.  You saw last week Wentz was able to manipulate the defense with his eyes on occasion.  He will need to do that again this week.

Who will win the match-up of Jordan Matthews vs Tracy Porter?

Matthews had an outstanding game week 1.  Aside from the opening drop he was near flawless.  I watched the all-22 film to see exactly how he got in and out of his breaks and his technique was solid.  He ran crisp routes and used his size to his advantage.  He was on the field for 71 snaps with 42 of those being receiving snaps per PFF.com.  He graded out as the highest Eagles receiver at 79.6.  Porter had an interception for the Bears but really struggled after that.  It’s not hard to believe going up against DeAndre Hopkins.  Porter will have his shot against Matthews.  Matthews almost split his snap percentage between the slot and outside.  Porter is a solid veteran and knows how to play in this league.  This will be a good test for Jordan.  Porter graded out at 39.4 way below average during week 1 per PFF.com.

Can Jason Kelce improve his play against a solid Bears defensive line?

Out of all the units week 1 I thought the OL struggled a bit.  They weren’t terrible but they could have been better.  I didn’t think Jason Kelce had a great game.  Again he wasn’t awful but I thought he’s played better in past games.  Wentz took a number of hits albeit some were his fault.  Kelce will have his hands full with interior DL Akiem Hicks and Mitch Unrein.  From my count per the all -22 Kelce had one bad snap.  He did get beat left and right on a few occasions forcing Wentz off his spot.  I expect him to be better.  This Bears front will give him a nice test with couple stunts.  Kelce graded out at 39.5 for his week 1 performance ranking 31/32 starting centers.

Will Brent Celek and Trey Burton step up in place of Zach Ertz? 

All signs point to Ertz missing the Bears game due to a displaced rip.  I thought Ertz did an outstanding job to quote Troy Aikman week 1.  He was a viable threat over the middle and on the outside.  It was clear he and Wentz had a connection from the first series.  Trey Burton missed week 1 so this game will be his first action.  The role of filling in for Ertz will fall more at the feet of Brent Celek in my opinion.  The west coast offense is all about the Tight Ends so expect both of these guys to be targeted early an often.  If you watched week 1 closely you saw Matt Tobin lined up as a 3rd in-line TE.  I would think with Ertz out and roles being elevated you would see more of that during goal line and heavy run packages.

Can the Eagles force Jay Cutler into bad decisions?

Cutler is one of the more talented quarterbacks in the league in terms of arm strength, but his decision making at times is questionable at best. Chicago fans often discuss whether they’ll see “Good Jay” or “Bad Jay.” The good side was seen during the first half against the Texans this past week as the offense put up 14 points. Cutler led an impressive one minute drive capped off with a frozen rope touchdown to Eddie Royal. Unfortunately, glimpses of bad Jay came out during the second half as the offense was blanked. The offense was stuck in neutral the entire 2nd half, and began with an interception from Cutler after a miscommunication with rookie Kevin White. The snowball effect applies to Cutler as one negative play seemingly leads to a chain reaction of costly mistakes. Chicago’s newly formed offensive line wasn’t much help to Cutler as he was sacked five times and hit thirteen. Rookie center, Cody Whitehair, is an area in particular I expect the Eagles to dominate with Logan and Cox or possibly A-gap blitzes. The Eagles face another mistake prone quarterback in Week 2 after forcing RG3 into an interception last week. Jim Schwartz also has a history coaching against Cutler during his stint with the Lions in the NFC North.

Can the defense get off the field on third down?

A defense’s ability to get off the field on third down is critical to success especially as the road team. The Eagles held the Browns to a 20 percent conversion rate on third down in Week 1 allowing them to nearly double the time of possession advantage. This is a rare occurrence seldom seen in the past three years. Chicago’s offense converted only four out of thirteen third downs against the Texans, and generated only 23 minutes of possession time. The second half performance skewed the numbers as the offense picked up few first downs to stay on the field for any prolonged drives.

Will Mychal Kendricks see increased playing time?

Kendricks played only 19 defensive snaps this past week against the Browns, and the trend may continue moving forward. Doug Pederson explained Bradham and Hicks are the nickel linebackers with Kendricks being the odd man out in that package. I expect the Bears to primarily line up in 3 wide receiver sets which again will force Kendricks off the field. If I’m being completely honest Kendricks has not done anything to warrant increased snaps over either Bradham or Hicks. The coaching staff has no ties to Kendricks meaning his playing time is not an issue of concern to them or the front office. Kendricks whiffed badly on a 1 on 1 open field tackle against RG3 in Week 1. He appears to be a player lacking confidence as the injuries may be weighing on his mind.

Can the cornerbacks hold up on the outside?

The Browns offense with the absence of Josh Gordon lacked a game changing threat on the outside in Week 1. The Bears offense, however, has Alshon Jeffery who provides a matchup nightmare for most corners around the league. Jeffery made a catch against the Texans similar to the one Terrelle Pryor had on Nolan Carroll last week. He won’t run by any of the corners on the Eagles, but his size definitely presents an issue especially with Leodis McKelvin likely sidelined on Monday. Doug Pederson said in his press conference he doesn’t see a roster move forthcoming in the absence of McKelvin. The likely scenario is Ron Brooks starting on the outside with Jalen Mills rotating in at the nickel. Malcolm Jenkins has played corner in spurts for the Eagles before and may be called upon again to do so this week. Kevin White is an intriguing player, but after missing all of the 2015 season the former first round pick is still trying to adapt to the NFL. Eddie Royal is a veteran slot receiver who has experience playing with Cutler, and also made a fantastic catch last week for the Bears final touchdown. Royal could cause problems with the lack of depth and experience at the cornerback position.

Offensive questions by Ryan/Defensive questions by Brian

Source – profootballfocus.com

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