WHEN THE EAGLES HAVE THE BALL
Alshon Jeffery left the Bears for the Eagles during the offseason and will be in the spotlight on Sunday. The Eagles' top receiver has four touchdowns in the last three games and will look to challenge a Bears secondary that hasn't allowed a 100-yard receiver since Week 3. The Eagles like to spread the ball, so Carson Wentz won't force the ball to Jeffery. But the veteran is trending in the right direction and should be motivated against his former team. Tight end Zach Ertz will look to rebound from an eight-yard performance last week, which was his worst of the season while the Cowboys devoted their attention to stopping him.
Wentz's MVP campaign will continue in front of the home crowd. He has 19 touchdowns in the last six games and goes against a defense ranked No. 12 against the pass, averaging 213 passing yards allowed per game. They have veteran cornerbacks and skilled safeties. Penn State product Adrian Amos is a reliable starter for the Bears, and rookie Eddie Jackson is a playmaker on the back end. But the Bears don't have the edge rusher to pressure Wentz, especially after the recent injury to Leonard Floyd. The best defensive player on the Bears is Akiem Hicks, who plays defensive end in their 3-4 scheme. Hicks has seven sacks in 10 games.
The Eagles had their best rushing performance of the season last week. They will continue to share the carries, although Jay Ajayi should play a bigger role than the 13 snaps he had last week. In two games with the Eagles, Ajayi is averaging 11.2 yards per carry and has rushes of 66 and 71 yards. LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement will also get carries, but Ajayi is proving that he's the most dynamic running back for the Eagles. He's running behind an offensive line that has been consistent this season and is getting steady play from left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai since Vaitai replaced Jason Peters.
Kicker Jake Elliott suffered a concussion last week, but he's been cleared to play Sunday. Coach Doug Pederson said he is considering going for two-point conversions more often, so pay attention to what the Eagles do after touchdowns on Sunday.
WHEN THE BEARS HAVE THE BALL
The strength of Chicago's offense is the running game. Jordan Howard has 841 rushing yards this season and averages 4.4 yards per carry. He has topped 100 yards four times this season, including two of the Bears' three wins. The Eagles have the NFL's top-ranked rush defense, allowing an average of 71 yards per game. However, the Cowboys rushed for 112 yards last week, which was tied for the most the Eagles have allowed this season. The Bears have the fifth-ranked rushing offense with an average of 131.8 yards per game. Look for Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to focus on stopping the run this week. It will be an important week for defensive tackles Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan, who are central parts of the run defense.
The Bears start rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. Trubisky is a mobile quarterback who has only four touchdown passes this season and is completing 53.1 percent of his passes. But he has rushed for 163 yards with a 46-yarder on his resume, so the Eagles must be aware of Trubisky on the move. The Bears have allowed 25 sacks this season, and the Eagles should be able to get pressure around the edges. Eagles rookie Derek Barnett had two sacks last week.
The Bears have a depleted wide receiver corps and might wish they still had Alshon Jeffery. Kendell Wright is their top receiver with 330 yards, but they don't pose much of a threat to the Eagles' defensive backs. Cornerback Ronald Darby is in his second game back from injury and will look to build on last week's performance. Pay attention to versatile rookie running back Tarik Cohen, who may remind you of Darren Sproles both in his size and the way they use him. He leads the Bears with 33 catches.
Trubisky hasn't been turnover prone this season, but the Eagles will try to pressure the rookie. Safety Rodney McLeod has interceptions in three consecutive games.
The Bears made a kicking change during the week, signing veteran Cairo Santos.
That's how many Eagles on offense touched the ball last week, including quarterback Carson Wentz. Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement, Kenjon Barner, and Wentz ran the ball. Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Mack Hollins, and Nelson Agholor had catches. This is one reason they have not had a 100-yard receiver this season and only have one 100-yard rusher. The offense takes pride in using different weapons, and even with Pro Bowlers at wide receiver and running back, there is not one skill player that dominates the offense.
Zach Berman: Eagles 31, Bears 12
Jeff McLane: Eagles 31, Bears 17
Les Bowen: Eagles 26, Bears 12.
Paul Domowitch: Eagles 31, Bears 12