Very soon, the wait will be over, and fans in the Windy City will finally see their Chicago Bears open the 2017 NFL season against the Atlanta Falcons. Overall, the Bears’ first-teamers looked solid during the preseason, and now will get to see how they match up against the defending NFC champs.
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There are a lot of new faces on Chicago’s roster this year, and many eyes will be on those players, as well as some returning key players. Of course, all eyes will be on second-year running back Jordan Howard. Last season, Howard shocked the NFL and finished the year as the league’s second-leading rusher, and did so by averaging only 18.5 carries per game once he was anointed as a starter. There’s a good chance that Howard will be the focal point of the Bears’ offense in not just Week 1, but all year.
Also, there is the new quarterback that will be under center, Mike Glennon. His play will definitely dictate the possibility of a quarterback controversy with rookie Mitchell Trubisky. Glennon may have quieted the critics after his solid outing in Week 3 of the preseason, but let’s see if he can do the same against an Atlanta defense that ranked fifth in defending the pass in 2016.
Howard and Glennon are without a doubt worth keeping an eye on in Week 1. However, of the obvious things to focus on in this week’s game, there are some other things that are just as important that will have a great influence on the result of the matchup against the Falcons. Let’s take a look at the five important things to watch for this weekend.