Fresh off the bye week Justin Fields and the Bears welcome Jalen Hurts and the 12-1 Philadelphia Eagles to the lakefront this Sunday in a Week 15 battle of teams on opposite ends of the NFC standings.
It’s been about a month since Fields separated his non-throwing shoulder in Atlanta, and I sure hope he’s 100 percent because the Philadelphia pass rush he’ll see is no joking matter. The Eagles Pass Rush Win Rate (PSWR) — a new metric created by ESPN Analytics to measure the success of a team or individual’s pass-rushing efforts — leads the NFL at 54 percent.
The good news is the Bears have a 70 percent Pass Block Win Rate which is second in the league behind Kansas City. So if Fields can get the ball out in the 2-3-second window, he should have some success. We’ll chat more about that in ‘Three Bears.’
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Chicago Bears (3-10, 4th NFC North) vs Philadelphia Eagles (12-1, 1st NFC East) – FOX (Joe Davis, Daryl Johnston); WBBM 780 AM, 105.9 FM (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote)
Kickoff Time: Noon CT
Site: Soldier Field; Chicago.
Referee: Scott Novak
Odds: PHI -9, O/U 48.5 (via DraftKings Sports Book)
We Got $5 On It
Note: Patrick’s listed bets were placed on Draft Kings Sportsbook, while Luis’ were made at BetMGM.
- One-Game Parlay: Justin Fields 1+ passing TD, Justin Fields 14+ pass completions, Justin Fields +20 pass attempts, Justin Fields 150+ passing yards, Justin Fields OVER 54.5 rushing yards (+290) — I’m with Patrick (you’ll see his play momentarily) in making my weekly wager line up with something I’d like to see Justin Fields do as he tries to close out the regular season on a high note. The Eagles’ defense gives up the fewest fantasy points to the QB position. But they’ve also had games against Carson Wentz, Cooper Rush, Kenny Pickett, Davis Mills, Taylor Heinicke, the husk of Matt Ryan, and Daniel Jones. Not quite Murderer’s Row. So maybe Fields can turn our $5 into $19.50. That would be lovely, don’t you think?
- Justin Fields anytime TD scorer, Justin Fields OVER 149.5 passing yards, Justin Fields OVER 64.5 rushing yards (+500) — We’re at the point where all that matters to me is Justin Fields balling out and finishing this final month with a clean bill of health. So, in that spirit, let’s have a day and take Fields over 149.5 passing yards, over 64.5 rushing yards, and a rushing touchdown. At +500 a $5 bet wins you $30 (but I’m putting down more than five on this one, I’m feeling it).
You can get in on this action at DraftKings:
But there are a number of other official gambling apps you can use (with some juicy promos) right here.
Starting QBs and Projected Game Stats
Eagles: Jalen Hurts: 20/31, 250 passing yards, 2 TD, 0 INT; 10 carries, 53 rushing yards, 1 TD
Bears: Justin Fields: 14/23, 158 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 12 carries, 75 rushing yards, 1 TD
Bears Projected Starters
• QB Justin Fields
• RB David Montgomery
• FB Khari Blasingame
• WRs Equanimeous St. Brown, Dante Pettis
• TE Cole Kmet
• LT Braxton Jones, LG Cody Whitehair, C Sam Mustipher, RG Teven Jenkins, RT Riley Reiff
• LDE Trevis Gipson, LDT Armon Watts, RDT Justin Jones, RDE Dominique Robinson
• SAM Matthew Adams, MIKE Jack Sanborn, WILL Nicholas Morrow
• LCB Jaylon Johnson, RCB Kyler Gordon
• FS DeAndre Houston-Carson, SS Jaquan Brisker
• Cairo Santos (kicker), Trenton Gill (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Dante Pettis (punt returns), Velus Jones Jr. (kick returns)
Eagles Projected Starters
• QB Jalen Hurts
• RB Miles Sanders
• WR A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins
• TE Jack Stoll
• LT Jordan Mailata, LG Landon Dickerson, C Jason Kelce, RG Isaac Seumalo, RT Lane Johnson
• LDE Brandon Graham, LDT Fletcher Cox, RDT Javon Hargrave, RDE Josh Sweat
• WLB Kyzir White, MLB T.J. Edwards, SLB Haason Reddick
• LCB James Bradberry, RCB Darius Slay
• FS Reed Blankenship, SS Marcus Epps
• Jake Elliott (kicker), Arryn Siposs (punter, holder), Rick Lovato (long snapper), Britain Covey (kick and punt returns)
Including the Offensive Line makes this like ‘Seven Bears,’ but we’re not going to fret over numbers today. The bottom line is this: the Bears’ offensive line has their most challenging game of the season ahead of them this week.
Philly’s pass rush is getting home in less than 2.5 seconds 54 percent of the time, according to ESPN Analytics, and while the Bears’ pass block win rate is surprisingly good by those standards (74 percent), Justin Fields usually requires more than 2.5 seconds to get the ball out.
Fields will have to speed it up, but the offensive line will have to bring their A-game to Soldier Field this week. Or else Fields might re-live his first start last season when the Browns sacked him nine times. Seriously though, the Eagles just sacked Daniel Jones seven times last week. And we watched Jones run wild on the Bears’ defense earlier this season. So strap it up, boys! It will be a battle up front.
Justin Fields must be conscious of the Eagles pass rush this week and help his offensive line out as much as possible by getting the ball out quicker than he usually does. Fields had his best game as a passer two weeks ago against the Packers, but this Eagles defense is a different animal.
Boots, waggles, and rollouts should be the day’s theme for Luke Getsy and his offense. If he’s not scheming Fields out of the pocket and onto a more comfortable throwing platform, the Bears’ offense might be in for a brutally long day at the office.
With four games left, Matt Eberflus summed up what he wants to see from Fields the rest of the way on Monday after practice:
“Obviously he can make dynamic plays, but we want to see also the ordinary plays, the checkdowns, the easy passes, take what the defense gives you, all those types of things that he thinks he needs to improve on, and we do, too.”
Cole Kmet ranked second among tight ends in receiving yards (249), third in targets (30), second in touchdowns (4), and third in first downs (12) among tight ends in Weeks 9-13, and finishing the season strong could spark extension conversations for Kmet this offseason. Still, it would also help solidify the rapport between Fields and his tight end.
With Darnell Mooney out and Chase Claypool still struggling to figure out the Bears’ playbook, Kmet can be Fields’ top target in these final four games.