Keys To Victory: Wild Card Weekend
2. Contain Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery
While the Eagles offense isn’t as explosive as it was in 2017, Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery have been the Eagles two biggest contributors all season. Ertz’s logged 116 receptions this season and averaged ten yards per reception.
The Eagles generally place Ertz all over the field. He sometimes lines up at the line of scrimmage or other times he’ll move out to the slot. Regardless, wherever he lines up, he is a dangerous weapon.
To shut Ertz down, the Bears will need to use Roquan Smith and Eddie Jackson. However, shutting him down in coverage is not enough. Ertz’s massive frame (6’5’’, 250 lbs) also makes it hard to tackle him. This means that the Bears will need to have someone on Ertz all the time and multiple defenders will need to bring him down.
Alshon Jeffery, on the other hand, is a name that Bears fans are very familiar with. Since leaving the Bears in 2017, Jeffery has enjoyed success in Philadelphia but will return to Chicago for the first time on Sunday since leaving.
Jeffery is a big bodied receiver who is effective when it comes to going up and grabbing 50-50 balls. He has the size and is physical enough to beat out smaller defensive backs. As Jeffery gets ready to face his former team, Kyle Fuller will be tasked with shutting him down.
The goal with shutting down Jeffery is simple: always have a defender on him at all times and be aggressive when it comes to him running routes. If the Bears defensive backs can do this, then Sunday will be a relatively frustrating day for Jeffery.