Five Bears thoughts prior to Eagles kick

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Losers of three straight, the Chicago Bears (3-7) head into high cotton on the road at the NFC East leading Philadelphia Eagles (9-1) on Sunday.

Here are five things to watch and think about ahead of Sunday’s tilt.

1. The continued development of Mitch Trubisky….  Each week, the Bears catch a glimpse of the traits that made Trubisky the second overall pick in last April’s draft. In last week’s loss to Detroit, his fourth down scramble and subsequent dart to Dontrelle Inman put the team in position to attempt a possible game-tying field goal.

Trubisky will be challenged on the road against a stingy Eagles defense. His ability to maintain his composure and play through adversity should make him better in the long run.

2. Can the Bears absorb the loss of Leonard Floyd?…Floyd had developed into a better all-around defender in year two, and his absence depletes a unit already shy of impact players.  Though his sack numbers were down, Floyd’s speed and range made him a player offenses had to scheme against. 

3. How will new kicker Cairo Santos fare?….He can’t be any worse than Connor Barth.  Santos track record is as a reliable and accurate kicker between 40-49 yards, an area Barth struggled.  Santos is also better kicking off. The Bears get a sneak peek at him, as Santos is a free agent at season’s end. The final six games will show whether he’s the Chicago kicker of the future and not just the present.

4. Does John Fox still have the team?….One of Fox’s strengths as a head coach has been his ability to keep his squad playing hard, no matter the circumstances. Coming off of deflating home losses to Green Bay and Detroit and staring at another last place finish in the NFC North, the Bears could be forgiven for thinking they have an insurmountable task against the Eagles. It will be interesting to see whether Fox can rally his squad as two touchdown underdogs.

5. Do Tarik Cohen and Adam Shaheen contribute more?  With few options at wide receiver, the Bears need their rookie duo to continue to make plays. Last week’s effort against Detroit was a start, but neither factored in the final two-minute drive.  Trubisky, running back Jordan Howard, Cohen and Shaheen are key pieces to the Bears future.  One of the few things to watch over the final few contests is their development.


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