Chicago Bears: Three Keys Against the Philadelphia Eagles

Here we go the first weekend of the 2018/2019 NFL Playoff’s and the Chicago Bears host the Super Bowl Champ Philadelphia Eagles in the second NFC Wildcard game in Soldier Field, Sunday at 4:40 pm ET. This is where the rubber meets the road and teams leave it all on the field. The Bears are making their first playoff appearance since 2010 where they lost in the NFC Championship game to the Green Bay Packers.

This is not the Bears of Lovie Smith, this is the Bears of Matt Nagy. He and his staff have built this team into a smash mouth defense that is completely relentless against opposing offenses. Mitchell Trubisky, the young franchise quarterback, is smart and knows how to pick defenses apart, not to mention the late season ramp-up of Jordan Howard. The Bears know they have the best defense and they will surely be raring to go Sunday at Soldier Field. Here are three keys against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Pressure

The Chicago Bears defensive front 4 should be licking their chops. The Eagles O-Line is suspect and they have a difference maker in Kahil Mack. Mack is a one-man wrecking crew he knows how to get after the quarterback and knowing that Nick Foles is injured will just give him that added incentive to get after him. Along with Mack, the different blitz packages that the Bears have been running will keep the pressure on Nick Foles. The Bears lead the league in interceptions (27), fewest points allowed to opposing offenses (16.8 per game) and lowest opposing quarterback passer rating (72.5). Put all this together in a playoff game and this alone will be a major key to keeping the Eagles offense on their heals and off the field.

Jordan Howard

Jordan Howard has not had the season he or anyone else predicted he would have. He has been mediocre at best, plodding his way to 1079 all-purpose yards and 9 TD’s this regular season. BUT, if you look at the last 4 weeks of the regular season he has rushed for 323 yards and 4 touchdowns. This game will be at home and it will be cold. To go along with the concept of pressure being a key to keeping the ball out of the hands of Nick Foles, managing the clock with the run game will also be a key. Look for Howard to get the rock and move the chains, he may even be the fantasy darling this weekend.

Cohesiveness

This may seem out of place, but what has made the Chicago Bears a special team to watch this season is how cohesive they are as a team. Both the offense and the defense get each other’s backs. They know they are good. However, they don’t let it go to their heads. This team plays for the next play and nothing more. Keeping this attitude and relationship together, not just in the locker room but on the field, will go a long way to the Bears winning the first of hopefully many games in this postseason.

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How do you feel about the Chicago Bears heading into the 2018 Wildcard round? Leave a comment below.

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You can follow Stephen on twitter over @rendermann

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