The Chicago Bears try once again to end their franchise-long losing streak. That streak now stands at 14 games. They have a short week to attempt it, however. They travel to face the Washington Commanders on Thursday Night Football.
While the Bears prepare for Washington, there is a lot of noise surrounding them. Last week, they thought they were on their way to erasing the streak against the Denver Broncos. However, they blew a 21-point lead, making many mistakes along the way, and lost 31-28. The loss made whatever positives that fans had to disappear.
The season is only five weeks old yet so much has happened. The team looks as bad as it did last season despite an infusion of talent. Wide receiver Chase Claypool has been such a distraction that the team had to ban him from Halas Hall. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams committed some bad act that forced him to resign. It is a lot to handle and their are still 13 weeks left to the season after this one.
The Chicago Bears will try to erase all the negativity around them and find a way, any way, to finally end their losing streak.
They had some good aspects to last week's game and look to build upon those positives. They need to make some more tweaks so they can finish the job this week.
Here are four storylines to follow in the Week 5 game.
Can the defense find a way to get to Howell?
While the Chicago Bears got off to a hot start last week against the Broncos, the defense still struggled. There was no pass rush once again. The defense came into the game with just one sack the entire season. Then Yannick Ngakoue had an early sack in the game. However, that was it for the game.
Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson had all day to throw the ball. When that happens, the secondary will eventually get beat. Add to it the fact that the secondary was shelled with injuries and it was just a matter of time before Wilson burned the defense. He finished the game with 223 yards. While that isn't so bad, he completed 75 percent of his passes and had 3 touchdown passes. Additionally, he engineered the final drive that resulted in the game-winning field goal.
The Bears have to get to the quarterback. Head coach Matt Eberflus talked last week about the pass rush getting close to the quarterback, close is not good enough. They have to finally get to the quarterback and knock him down consistently.
Quarterback Sam Howell has had a so-so season. He has completed 67.1 percent of his passes. However, he has 4 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. He will give the defense an opportunity at a turnover. The Bears have to put pressure on him to make him throw before he wants. If they don't he will be the next quarterback to have a big day against Chicago's defense.