Final week’s Colts-Broncos Thursday evening sport didn’t precisely seize America’s creativeness, and this week’s Thursday matchup between the Commanders and Bears may not be the simplest pre-game promote.
However there really is likely to be fairly a bit on the road on this one.
The Commanders limp into Soldier Area having misplaced 4 straight after the comeback victory towards Jacksonville in Week 1. The futures of Ron Rivera and Carson Wentz could possibly be put underneath the microscope with a fifth straight loss.
In the meantime, the Bears don’t precisely are available in scalding sizzling both. They’ve dropped three of 4 video games, even when all three got here on the street. The Bears are 2-0 at dwelling this season, nonetheless, with two stronger defensive efforts in these wins over the 49ers and Texans.
The highlight is on Justin Fields to capitalize after a terrific second-half displaying within the loss to the Vikings final week. Bears followers would love nothing greater than to see their QB keep sizzling, even when accidents at nearly each different offensive place have held all the things again.
And if the motion is sub-par, we will all the time fall again on some good outdated uniform chatter. For the primary time in franchise historical past, the Bears might be brandishing orange helmets — you learn that proper — together with orange jerseys.
Maybe permit additional time to regulate your screens for the monochromatic brightness.
“It’s fairly candy,” Bears linebacker Roquan Smith mentioned. “It’s a helmet. It’s orange. It’s completely different. However I feel it (might be) fairly cool simply to exit wanting like a highlighter, or one thing.”
Listed below are 4 issues to look at for when the Commanders go to the Bears on Thursday evening on Prime Video:
- Is Justin Fields prepared to interrupt out? The Week 5 loss at Minnesota was really essentially the most encouraging signal we’ve seen from Fields but this season. Within the first 4 video games, Fields accomplished 50.7% of his passes, averaged 117.8 move yards and was taking 4 sacks per sport. In opposition to the Vikings, he hit on 71.4% of his passes for 208 yards, taking solely two sacks and delivering his first zero-turnover sport of the 12 months. Even with a sluggish begin in Week 5, it was the primary time this season Area has seemed poised, managed and — dare we are saying — harmful. That is the sort of sport the place he have to be environment friendly on the very least. The Commanders have been a combined bag defensively, limiting yards and third-down conversions however permitting 25.6 factors per sport and forcing a single turnover — again within the waning moments of Week 1. Maybe Chicago can assault Washington’s weak secondary downfield. They might get wideout N’Keal Harry again after he was activated this week from injured reserve, and rookie Velus Jones Jr. may see extra motion after scoring his first TD final week.
- Ron Rivera feeling some warmth throughout his Chicago reunion. With Matt Rhule the primary head coach to be fired throughout the 2022 season, who strikes up a hot-seat slot? Rivera is a minimum of within the dialogue, whether or not he deserves to be or not. This can be a Commanders franchise that has been cloaked in controversy and a dropping tradition in latest seasons, and the 1-4 begin — with 4 straight losses — hasn’t helped ease the strain any. Rivera is 15-23 with one playoff look however no successful seasons. He’s sometimes been a greater second-half-of-the-season coach, and Washington dug itself out of early holes the previous two years. However it’s getting late earlier this 12 months in an NFC East division that has simply two losses among the many remaining three groups. This sport nearly seems like a must-win sport for the Commanders … however couldn’t you say that concerning the Bears, too? Rivera is well-liked in Chicago, the place he was a linebacker on the 80s juggernaut and later the workforce’s defensive coordinator throughout the Lovie Smith heydays. However with a lot rigidity round Rivera’s present workforce, this may not really feel like a category journey.
- How lengthy a leash does Carson Wentz have? The Commanders have scored 35 factors mixed the previous three video games. Rivera might need thrown his QB underneath the bus inadvertently this week, saying “quarterback” was the distinction between his struggling workforce and the opposite three thriving NFC East golf equipment. Even when the remark was misconstrued, there’s an elephant within the locker room: Wentz has made loads of errors. He’s had a number of interceptions in 4 of 5 video games; the one sport he didn’t, he was sacked 9 occasions. Wentz additionally has fumbled six occasions, fortunate solely to lose one among them. Including damage to insult, Wentz has a banged-up shoulder. He’ll play Thursday however might be with out spectacular rookie WR Jahan Dotson (hamstring) and TE Logan Thomas (calf). They’ve already cycled by way of three facilities this season. So getting again on monitor towards Chicago in a brief week gained’t come simple. If that doesn’t occur, the speak of how lengthy Wentz ought to be the starter will crank up throughout the mini-bye that follows.
- Bears protection must examine when kickoff time is. There was an odd dichotomy with Chicago’s protection. First halves have been an issue. Second halves have been principally lights out. In first halves, the Bears have allowed 6.0 yards per rush, seven dashing touchdowns, a 4-1 TD-INT ratio and eight.2 yards per move play. After halftime, they’ve given up 3.9 yards per rush, one rush TD, a 0-4 TD-INT ratio and 6.4 yards per move. What provides? It’s onerous to seek out constant explanations, however coordinator Alan Williams has achieved a very good job adjusting as video games go on. The Bears will get again their high nook, Jaylon Johnson (quad), again after he missed three straight video games because of damage. That might assist out a secondary that has had some tough patches not too long ago. The third-down protection has been an issue all season — and never simply relegated to first halves. Final week, the Vikings transformed 12 of 15 third downs in a one-score sport that got here right down to the wire.