5 players to watch when the Eagles battle the Bears

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LANDOVER, MD – DECEMBER 15: Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) runs for a first down and is brought down by Philadelphia Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards (57) on December 15, 2019, at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles and the Chicago Bears will play each other in the Windy City this weekend. The Eagles are heavily favored going into the matchup, but in the NFL, any team can win on any given Sunday. The young and inexperienced Bears are going to want to play spoiler to a high-flying Eagles squad, so they cannot just be looked over. Before the game, here are 5 players to watch out for. 

Kenny Gainwell

On the whole, Gainwell has been pretty underwhelming this season as one of the backup running backs. The sophomore RB has been a complete afterthought in the offense for most of the season, with not even 200 rushing yards or 100 receiving yards yet. Up until Boston Scott got most of the backup carries against New York, Gainwell has seemingly been gaining some offensive momentum.

Against Green Bay, he had a season-high 39 rushing yards on 8 attempts and had 38 receiving yards and 4 receptions the following week against Tennessee. Hurts has started to find Gainwell in the short passing game, which is a whole new element that the team has barely explored. Gainwell won’t get a lot of touches, but he can be effective when he is used. 

Justin Fields

Justin Fields is by far the Bears’ best and most important player. The young quarterback hasn’t led the team to many wins but he has given the fans some excitement and hope. He has 13 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, already an improvement from his 7-10 ratio as a rookie last year, but not great. His arm talent is not well documented as the Bears have thrown the fewest passes of any team this session.

His legs are what sets him apart from other young quarterbacks. He is the Bears leading rusher with 908 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with breaking multiple quarterback rushing records, like most career 50-yard runs and most rushing yards in a single game. The Bears are extremely limited by their passing attack, but Fields can carry their offense on occasion. 

K’Von Wallace

With Reed Blankenship going down with a knee injury, the Eagles will once again be looking for safety depth with Wallace. Last week he was probably the worst player on offense or defense, giving up chunk yards to Daniel Jones and the Giants far too often in the second half. Wallace has yet to break out in his 3rd year at Clemson and overall has performed well below NFL standards.

I don’t expect much from him this weekend, to be honest. He’s only a player to watch because of how he could negatively impact the game. The fewer times we hear his name called during the broadcast, the better. Hopefully, he can be at least serviceable until the reinforcements come back. 

Jaquan Brisker

The Bears’ defense is pretty bad from a player standpoint. I think they’re fairly well coached but the talent level is just not there yet for them to properly shut other teams down. Their best player is rookie defensive back Jaquan Brisker, who has played all over the field.

The Penn State product has appeared in 11 games and has recorded 1 interception, 3 sacks, and a forced fumble. Brisker is a very promising player, but it does not speak well on the Bears’ part that their leader in sacks on the season is a rookie safety. He is one player that Eagles’ offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and Jalen Hurts have to keep an eye on in this game. 

TJ Edwards

One of the most underrated stories of this Eagles season is the improved play of the linebackers, thanks in large part to Edwards. Coming into his fourth season, Edwards has always been overlooked on this team. Most fans thought he was just given a starting spot due to how weak the team was at the position, but he has taken the opportunity and ran with it.

This is Edwards’ first real stand-out season, starting every game so far with 2 sacks, 8 tackles for loss, 5 QB hits, 7 passes deflected, and 115 tackles. Watching the game, it feels like he is always making important tackles as well. He is one of the Eagles’ best pure tacklers and can bring elusive runners down in the open field. Edwards can also rush the passer when the Eagles want to bring extra pressure and cover some tight ends down the field.

Edwards is the kind of player many Eagles fans have been wanting but is overshadowed by all the other stars. His impact is something everyone should be looking at, especially with him due to be a free agent at the end of the season.

Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire