The Week 9 Monday night matchup is a crucial game for both Philadelphia and Chicago. Both are still alive for the postseason and a win on Monday could do wonders for the remainder of the season.
That said, rookies will need to step up regardless of how much playing time they receive. So, here are four rookies to look for (two from each team) when the Bears and Eagles face off.
Jaiquawn Jarrett: DB, Eagles
Philly's rookie safety Jaiquawn Jarrett may have only received playing time in three games thus far, but the Eagles have arguably the best secondary in the game, so his lack of PT comes as no surprise.
However, don't be surprised if Jarrett earns a little more time against the Bears to slow Mike Martz's west coast offense. Anytime Chicago goes with four or five WRs, Jarrett should be a part of the nickel/dime/quarter packages to match speed for speed.
Jarret after all, was Philadelphia's highest defensive draft pick so he will be utilized to add much versatility to the Eagles defense.
Dion Lewis: RB, Eagles
If the Eagles want to increase their odds of defeating the Bears, rookie RB Dion Lewis' production in the kick return game is vital.
Philly has all the tools to best Chicago on offense and defense, but with Devin Hester returning, the Bears can keep this game within striking distance.
Therefore, Lewis needs to shine on his kick returns and match Hester each time. The better position he gives the Eagles offense, the better odds of him getting some carries and targets in the passing game. In turn, that makes Philly's offense even more versatile.
Chris Conte: DB, Bears
The starting free safety for the Chicago Bears, rookie Chris Conte can really come onto the NFL scene with a solid performance on Monday night.
On the year Conte has just one INT and the Bears pass defense ranks No. 28 in allowing over 270 yards per game. To that end, slowing down Philadelphia's explosive and dynamic offense is needed if Chicago wants any chance at winning.
You can expect the Eagles to attack Conte being that he is a rookie, so be sure to keep an eye on him and see how he responds. Last week he picked off his first NFL pass, so it'll be interesting to watch if that confidence builds.
Stephen Paea: DT, Bears
Bears rookie DT Stephen Paea may have only received playing time in two games thus far, but it's been in the last two games, both of which were W's by Chicago.
It's obvious that Chicago wants to get the rookie more PT and rightfully so, because his run stuffing ability will be very important against the NFL's No. 1 rushing offense.
If Paea can significantly contribute to stopping the Eagles ground game early, that'll only bode well for late in the game to make Philly become one-dimensional. Therefore, keep Paea on your radar because he may just be the Bears best run-stuffer to begin with.
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