PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Playing in front of a loud crowd filled with Bears fans will be a bit different from an enthusiastic bunch at the Linc.
Such is the challenge the Eagles will be faced with on Monday night as they battle the Bears in Chicago. The Eagles will also be under the national spotlight as they look to go 2-0 on the season. While such circumstances can be intimidating to some players, Eagles Wide Receiver Jordan Matthews insists the players are treating this game like any other contest.
“You don’t want to get caught up in all of that other stuff,” said Matthews. “It doesn’t occur to me that we’re the only ones playing. That has no bearing on what the play call is or what I need to do. For the fans, it’s a great thing, and it should be. It’s about the fans. For us, it’s just another game to go out there and play.”
This will be Carson Wentz’s first taste of an NFL road game. The rookie was impressive at home last week, but Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich says it is easy for any player to be affected by a loud crowd on the road.
“It is a challenge,” Reich said. “We play noise out here in practice. We work on the silent count. I go back to the fact that everything about him and our team says ‘you’re ready’, but it doesn’t matter. You still have to go out and prove it. I’ve seen the best players in the world get rattled.”
The Eagles Defense will be looking to rattle Chicago Quarterback Jay Cutler. The Bears’ signal caller has a reputation for making critical mistakes, but is also capable of putting up impressive passing numbers. Eagles Defensive Lineman Fletcher Cox says the defense has to cool Cutler down early in order to prevent the Chicago Quarterback from lighting up the scoreboard.
“He’s got the arm,” said Cox. “He can make all the throws. The main focus is not to let him get started. Once he gets started, he can make every throw.”
The Eagles may be without one of their starting Cornerbacks on Monday. Leodis McKelvin has been sidelined due to a hamstring injury. McKelvin has not been ruled out for Monday, but has yet to practice during the week. Seventh-round draft pick Jalen Mills will likely start if McKelvin cannot play, and the rookie believes his college experience ta LSU will help him if he is forced to step into the Monday night spotlight.
“We’re on a bigger stage,” Mills said. “This is the NFL. Playing at Alabama when I was at LSU meant you had elite guys on the field. Now, we’re at the highest level of football and everybody’s elite.”