Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears: Cutler and co to set Soldier Field rocking

Matt who? Forte's departure could soon be forgotten if Jeremy Langford continues to impress
Matt who? Forte's departure could soon be forgotten if Jeremy Langford continues to impress

Chicago are tough at home, enjoy their Monday Night Football, and have too much experience for the visiting Eagles. That's according to Neil Harvey, who's predicting a home win for the Bears...

"The solid showing against Houston suggests Chicago can hold Carson Wentz in check, with veteran Head Coach John Fox likely to have prepared plenty of zonal coverage and a myriad of blitzes to put the rookie to the test."

Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears
Tuesday, 01:30
Live on Sky Sports 1


Little was expected of these two teams this year. Both raised eyebrows, in a good way, with their efforts in Week One.

To be fair, the fact that Philly beat the long-suffering Cleveland Browns wasn't so unexpected. But maybe the manner of victory was. The Eagles defense gave up just 168 passing yards and a mere 120 rushing yards in that 29-10 win. While on offense, rookie QB Carson Wentz made a flying start to his NFL career, with two touchdowns and no turnovers en route to a 100.9 passer rating. Then again though, this was only the Browns.

Chicago surprised by taking an early lead away to much-fancied Houston, and holding it until the second half. The Bears eventually went down 23-14. But it was a much gutsier showing than predicted and suggested just maybe there is life after Matt Forte.

Forte's replacement at running back, Jeremy Langford, was rock solid in Week One, rushing for 57 yards and a touchdown against one of the best defenses in the league. They'd have looked average numbers against most sides. But to do it against the Texans was something much more impressive. Langford looked a potential NFL star when he debuted last season. And as far as I'm concerned, he will be. He's got a genuine change of pace and can catch too. He looks the perfect replacement for Forte and I recommend backing him in a few markets for the final game of week two.

Chicago gunslinger Jay Cutler is an enigma, but I fancy he'll have one of his good days against a Philly defense that ranked fifth from last against the pass last year. And given the Eagles were even worse against the run (last in the NFL), there's every reason to think Chicago will move the ball with relative ease, with Alshon Jeffrey a receiver who when he plays, plays big - as shown by his 54 yard touchdown last week.

By contrast, the Bears defense ranked much higher than that. And the solid showing against Houston suggests Chicago can hold Carson Wentz in check, with veteran Head Coach John Fox likely to have prepared plenty of zonal coverage and a myriad of blitzes to put the rookie to the test.

Soldier Field is a tough place to go at any time. And that time just doesn't look right for Philadelphia, who still have rebuilding to do. Receivers Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor are talented, but young, like their QB. And with so little experience on offense, it's hard to back them with confidence.

For stats fans, Chicago are 4-1 winners against the spread in their last five Monday Night games. I like them to make that 5-1. The Bears can strike early, as they did in Week One. And this time, not only could they hold on, but might even pull away - if Wentz starts chancing his arm at a level he's not yet used too. Chicago's pass defense ranked fourth best in the league last year and is sure to gobble up any chances that might come their way.


Recommended Bets

5pts Chicago (-3.5) to win @ [EVENS]

2pts Chicago to win by 13 or more @ [19/5]
1pt Jeremy Langford to score 1st touchdown @ 10.09/1
3pts Alshon Jeffrey receiving yards to be over 93.5 @ 2.01/1

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