Matt Nagy probably can’t wait to get to game day in the NFL week 9 Bears at Eagles free pick. The Chicago coach has battled questions all week ranging from “why take a knee instead of getting more yardage ahead of a 41-yard FG” to why not get the ball in the middle of the field where your kicker prefers. The Bears loss on a missed kick a week ago was their third in a row. Philadelphia looks to help the free fall continue as they are -4 favorites at home on Sunday.
Where Does Chicago Go From Here?
The Bears 16-17 loss to the Chargers at home last week as -3.5 underdogs was disappointing. It was the third straight game Chicago had lost, all games they were favored in. There were some bright spots to take from that defeat though. The biggest was that the Bears finally showed a semblance of a running game as David Montgomery had 27 carries for 135 yards. Chicago had 17 yards as a team on just 7 carries vs. New Orleans the game prior and had only 42 in the loss to Oakland the week before that.
The Eagles have the #8 rush defense in the league. This means Chicago QB Mitch Trubisky has an even bigger role in the NFL week 9 Bears at Eagles free pick. The young signal caller is starting to feel the weight of the City of Broad Shoulders wearing down on him. He was a respectable 23/35 for 253 vs. LAC last week, but had a costly 4th quarter interception and a crucial overthrow of a wide open Taylor Gabriel that could have sealed a Bears win. The passing game is one area that Chicago could potentially exploit as Philadelphia ranks 21st defensively in that department.
The Chicago defense was once again good enough to win last Sunday, holding the Chargers to 36 yards rushing and 195 through the air in the 16-17 loss. The Bears held the time of possession advantage at 38:00 to 22:00. That definitely wasn’t the case the week before vs. New Orleans (37:26 to 22:34) or vs Oakland (25:17 to 34:43). A defense can only do so much when they are on the field the whole game.
What is Philadelphia’s Plan of Attack
Look for a big day from the Eagles running game in week 9. That’s because former Bear Jordan Howard has found a nice role in the Philadelphia offense, running for 96 yards in the week 8 win over Buffalo. Alshon Jeffery also likely still holds some ill will towards the team that drafted him so it’s a big revenge spot for the Eagles as a whole.
Of course the Eagles balance on offense against a tough Chicago defense also relies on a big day from Carson Wentz. Well, make that a game managing day as Wentz has thrown for less than 200 yards in 4 of the last 5. The Bears defense becomes vulnerable when they are on the field for an extended period of time. Wentz, Jeffery, and Zach Ertz can sustain drives and bury the Bears late in the game.
NFL Week 9 Bears at Eagles Free Pick
There are some in the Chicago media that think this could be a 40-17 type game and not in favor of the Bears. Nagy is in disarray, the Chicago QB’s confidence is shot, and Philadelphia is playing their first home game after the last three have been on the road. It’s the NFL though and games that look too good to be true usually are. Therefore Chicago is the contrarian play in this one.
Pick: Chicago Bears +4