Philadelphia Eagles Vs. Chicago Bears: 5 Bold Predictions For Week 2 Of 2016 NFL Season

With Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season now nothing but a fading memory, Week 2 is upon us and it projects to be laden with excitement for NFL aficionados.

In Week 1, neither Monday Night Football game was competitive. The Pittsburgh Steelers made mincemeat of the Washington Redskins, and the San Francisco 49ers absolutely pummeled the Los Angeles Rams.

However, in Week 2, there’s an intriguing game scheduled as the Philadelphia Eagles travel to take on the Chicago Bears in front of the Soldier Field faithful in Chicago.

Rookie QB Carson Wentz led the Eagles to a win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 1, but faces much stiffer competition against defensive-minded John Fox and the Bears. Thus, it’s hard to project how Wentz will react to adversity when facing a much better opponent.

The Bears are coming off a tough loss on the road to the Houston Texans in Week 1 in a game they were ahead in early on. Chicago led 7-0 after the first quarter, but was outscored 23-7 the rest of the way.

If the Bears intend on proving they aren’t the unmitigated disaster many NFL analysts are expecting them to be in 2016, it’s imperative they win this game as starting 0-2 is typically difficult to overcome.

So, can Wentz prove he’s the real deal by producing on the road in a tough environment, or will Cutler’s bunch recover to cement a crucial win in the Windy City?

Find out with these five bold predictions.

[Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images]

Ryan Mathews Electrifies

Ryan Mathews is Philadelphia’s clear-cut feature back in 2016 following the Eagles’ decision to trade DeMarco Murray over the offseason. Mathews proved he can handle the role with a solid showing in Week 1, as he tallied 77 yards and one TD against the Cleveland Browns.

In contrast, Chicago’s run defense pulled a vanishing act in Week 1 against Houston, as the Bears allowed 129 rushing yards to the Texans. While I do expect Chicago’s run defense to look a smidgen better at home, Mathews possesses a similar skill set as Lamar Miller and will see many of the same open lanes in this one.

Expect Ryan to take advantage, finishing with over 100 total yards and one TD at minimum.

Jay Cutler Struggles, Throws Three INTs

Jay Cutler looked like he only showed up to Houston in the physical form in Week 1 against the Texans, as it was clear his head just wasn’t in the game. Cutler went 16 for 29 for an underwhelming 216 yards with one TD and one INT, and never had full command of his offense.

Cutler’s best days as a quarterback are sadly behind him. This will be evident as he’s throwing passes up for grabs in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football. Jay might finish with a touchdown, but multiple turnovers will make it impossible for Chicago to maintain rhythm on offense.

[Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images]

Jeremy Langford Only Member Of Bears Offense To Show Up

In Week 1 against Houston, the Chicago Bears ran the ball 20 times, mainly with Jeremy Langford, who was given 17 carries. Langford didn’t overwhelm, but tallied a respectable 63 total yards and one TD.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s run defense was nowhere to be found in Week 1 against Cleveland, as the lowly Browns — despite playing from behind most of the game — ran for 120 yards and one TD on the Eagles.

Thus, it’s fair to assume Langford has a chance to be the lone bright spot in a lackluster Bears offense in this one.

Connor Barwin, Fletcher Cox Combine For Three Sacks

According to Pro Football Focus, Chicago’s offensive line is the third-worst unit in the NFL. In Week 1, it lived up to the ranking, as the Bears allowed Cutler to be sacked an abysmal five times.

When an offensive line isn’t any good, the team’s quarterback pays the price and ends up on the ground in agony far more often than he should. Expect Eagles DE Connor Barwin and DT Fletcher Cox, each who recorded sacks in Week 1, to frustrate Jay Cutler all game, ultimately tallying a combined three sacks.

[Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images]

Eagles Upset Bears

The swell folks in Las Vegas deemed the Eagles a three-point underdog in this one, which means they think these teams are evenly-matched, but consider the Bears a slight favorite because they are playing at home.

Put simply, the Jay Cutler era should have ended years ago in Chicago, yet it carries on and so does the mediocrity that accompanies him.

Expect a poised Carson Wentz to make a number of clutch throws off play action after the Eagles establish the run with Ryan Mathews, and the Eagles defense overwhelms Cutler with pocket pressure, forcing him into a number of boneheaded mistakes.

In the end, the Eagles will be headed home to Philadelphia with a six-point victory and Chicago will be riddled with anger after letting a golden opportunity to right the ship slip away late in the fourth quarter.

[Featured Image by Nick Laham/Getty Images]

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