Know Your Foe: Chicago Bears

Jimmy Graham

The Bears have surprised many with their 4-1 start to 2020. However, their four wins have come against the Lions, Giants, Falcons and Buccaneers, who have a combined record of 4-15.

The Bears overcame a 26-10 deficit in the third quarter in Atlanta, and were down, 13-0, to Tampa Bay last Thursday night.

Carolina has lost four of its last five matchups against Chicago, including a bizarre 17-3 defeat in 2017 where the Panthers held the Bears to just five first downs but were undone by three turnovers.

COVID scare

Chicago practice squad player Badara Traore tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, and all practice squad players were told to stay away from the facility on Monday. The active roster convened and did a light walk-through as testing continues throughout the team.

"It's pretty scary," wide receiver Allen Robinson told reporters. "You think back as far as maybe who that player has been around, things like that because you've seen cases pop up through teams that haven't even been in the facility. … So it's scary. All you can do is keep your fingers crossed that this is the last and only person."

The NFL has had to reschedule a number of games this past week, as positive COVID tests affect both their team and upcoming opponents. This could be worth watching for the rest of the week.

Nick Foles

Foles time

Nick Foles replaced Mitch Trubisky in the second half of a Week 4 game at Atlanta, leading the Bears back from a 16-point second half deficit to beat the Falcons. Foles then started last Thursday in a 20-19 win over Tom Brady and Tampa Bay.

Foles was traded to Chicago from Jacksonville this offseason and so far has passed for 226.7 yards per game with a 63.7 completion percentage and five touchdowns to three interceptions.

Foles has only faced the Panthers once in his career, back in 2012 when he was in Philadelphia, throwing for 119 yards in a Carolina win.

Khalil Mack

Slowing Mack and Co.

Defensive end Khalil Mack is tied for ninth in the NFL with 3.5 sacks, and he will certainly be where Panthers fans turn their eyes as he plays loud, with 21 sacks in 2018-19.

But don't forget about his pass-rushing mate, Akiem Hicks. He also has 3.5 sacks and has five tackles for loss, tied for eighth in the NFL. Linebacker Roquan Smith also has six tackles for loss.

They've all been a part of a defensive effort that's held opponents to just 20.0 points per game, ranking fourth in the NFL.

David Montgomery

Relief in the Run Game?

The Panthers have had to contend with the Raiders' Josh Jacobs, the Bucs' Leonard Fournette, the Chargers' Austin Ekeler and the Falcons' Todd Gurley in four of the first five weeks. Those four runners have averaged 94.0 yards on the ground and totaled seven rushing touchdowns against Carolina's defense.

Well, Chicago is 27th in the NFL with 95.4 team rushing yards per game. Chicago's David Montgomery has 247 rushing yards, averaging 49.4 rushing yards a game and just one rushing touchdown.

Carolina is 4-6 all-time against the Chicago Bears.

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