The Los Angeles Rams are about to venture off to cold Chicago to take on the Chicago Bears for their first of consecutive Sunday Night Football games. The Bears’ offense hopes to get back on track with their quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky, who missed the last two games with a shoulder injury. The Bears missed him dearly barely beating the Detroit Lions and losing to the New York Giants in overtime.
Many anticipated the Bears’ improvement under new Head Coach Matt Nagy, an Andy Reid disciple who has installed creative offensive innovation. Combine that with the trade for the second best defensive player in football in EDGE Khalil Mack to add to an already strong defense and the Bears have an 8-4 record despite missing their QB. Here are some of the Bears that look to prevent the Rams from clinching a playoff bye week.
QB Mitchell Trubisky
Many thought Trubisky was not going to be a good quarterback. Seemingly a “reach” in 2017 NFL Draft when the Bears traded up one spot to ensure they picked “their guy”, Trubisky has put together a strong season with 2,469 passing yards (in 10 games) for 20 TDs and a QBR of 74.8. In addition to his improvement with his arm, Trubisky has shown off some wheels this year with 363 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. Given the Rams struggles with Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, look for Nagy to try and put Trubisky in position to run or pass on the Rams defense.
DL Akiem Hicks
A huge man who showed off his athleticism with a touchdown run last week, Hicks continues to have another strong year in Chicago, anchoring the defense.
LINEMAN TOUCHDOWN— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) December 2, 2018
Akiem Hicks with the one-yard rush!
After a slow start in his career rushing the passer, Hicks has eclipsed five sacks in each of his three years from the interior (he still has 4 more games to go this year). In addition, Hicks has 45 combined tackles and three forced fumbles. Considering the Rams had a little bit of trouble at times with Damon Harrison last week, look for the Rams to try and combat Hicks in a multitude of ways.
RB Tarik Cohen
Small in stature but lightning quick, Cohen continues to have a strong year after emerging in his rookie campaign last season. With almost 1,000 yards through the ground and air this season, Cohen actually leads the Bears in receiving with 659 receiving yards as a running back. Cohen also does spend time out of the backfield and is a mismatch nightmare because of his speed. Look for the Rams to try different things on Cohen to keep him in check.
CB Kyle Fuller
If any player has improved vastly, it’s Fuller. Once hated on by Bears fans everywhere and being labeled a bust, Fuller has earned the questionable huge contract that had fans puzzled.
CB Kyle Fuller’s 4-year deal with the Bears:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2018
*Total value: $56 million - $14 million average per year.
*Effectively $29 million guaranteed at signing.
*Only CBs with richer deals are Josh Norman, Trumaine Johnson, Xavier Rhodes and Patrick Peterson.
Fuller is rated the fourth highest cornerback per Pro Football Focus with his 44 combined tackles and six interceptions for the season. The Rams receivers will have their work cut out for them trying to get open as QB Jared Goff looks to rebound from an “off” game.
LB Danny Trevathan
A draft pick that came from the Denver Broncos with HC John Fox in 2016, LB Danny Trevathan continues to be a fixture in the Chicago defense. The 23rd highest rated LB according to PFF, Trevathan has 85 combined tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, and interception for the season. Manning the middle, Trevathan’s number one task this week is to slow down Rams RB Todd Gurley.