The Philadelphia Eagles take on the Chicago Bears this Monday at 8:30 P.M. ET on ESPN. This will be Carson Wentz’s second start as an NFL quarterback facing off against one of the best defensive coordinators in the national football league in Vic Fangio.
The Eagles rushing attack must be utilized early in order to help guide the team to victory.
Wentz had an impressive debut versus the Cleveland Browns and Ray Horton’s defense. The rookie quarterback threw 22 completions on 37 passing attempts for 278 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
Fangio will dial up the pressure and apply it to the young gunslinger, but the Bears biggest weakness on defense appears to be stopping the run.
Last season the Bears ranked 23rd in total run defense. This past Sunday, the Bears were defeated by the Houston Texans 23-14. One of the major keys to victory for the Texans was their rushing attack.
Texans running back, Lamar Miller, led the ways with 28 carries for 106 rushing yards. The texans finished the game with 35 rushing attempts for 129 yards.
The Eagles running back group ran the ball successfully versus the Browns this past Sunday. The team ran the ball 34 times for 133 rushing yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles utilized their running back by committee approach as Ryan Mathews rushed for 77 yards, while Kenjon Barner rushed for 42 yards. The same should be expected on Monday night.
Establishing the run game early on for the Eagles will be pivotal for Wentz’s passing attack versus Fangio’s defense. Forcing the Bears to respect the run more will open up the passing game especially with a weaker secondary the Bears possess with their best cornerback, Kyle Fuller, questionable to play.
This was the exact game plan the Texans used in Brock Osweiler’s first start for the team and it worked beautifully. The Texans’ rushing attack opened up the passing game, which lead to 22 receptions for 231 receiving yards and two touchdowns for the team.
We’ll find out in a couple of days if this is how the Eagles plan on attacking the Bears’ defense. It would be wise, especially given the fact it’ll be Wentz’s first start in a prime-time matchup. Pederson and company executed their offensive game plan perfectly in week one. Week two will be a whole other test.