Things to watch in the Bears' Week 12 road tilt in Philadelphia

Things to watch in the Bears' Week 12 road tilt in Philadelphia
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 19: Disgusted Chicago Bears fans wear bags over their heads during a game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on November 19, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Lions beat the Bears 27-24. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

The Philadelphia Eagles head into Week 12 red hot and the Bears are a team that is four games below .500 at 3-7.

That being said, anything can happen from week to week in the NFL.

The Eagles are 9-1 on the season with a perfect 5-0 showing at home. Carson Wentz and company average a league best 32.0 PPG which includes 35.8 PPG at Lincoln Financial Field. That is a big step up from the 22.8 PPG mark a year ago under a then-rookie Wentz.

For the Bears, head coach John Fox is looking for just his 13th win in his third season on the sideline. The benefit of winning outside of building the young players' confidence like Mitch Trubisky and Adam Shaheen is not too beneficial.

Fox is on the hot seat and he doesn't truly deserve keeping his job despite all the injuries and roster turnover. He is not cut out for the job.

The Bears head to Philly with a 1-3 record on the road, with the lone victory coming in Baltimore this season.

Averaging the fifth-worst PPG mark (17.4), it will be a daunting task for Trubisky to produce enough points to win and for the Bears' defense to slow down Wentz with linebackers Danny Trevathan and Leonard Floyd injured.

Here are five things to watch in Sunday's Week 12 matchup against the Eagles.

Trubisky's maturation

In six starts this season, Trubisky has five turnovers (three fumbles, two interceptions). Compare that to Mike Glennon's four starts (five interceptions, three fumbles).

Over the last two weeks, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains has given Trubisky the green light on runs. He has 106 yards on nine total carries. Trubisky has recorded a 60 percent completion rate the last two weeks as well, passing for a career-best 297 yards against Green Bay and 197 yards last week against Detroit.

Watching Trubisky is more important than plucking his stats from a simple box score. He looks poised in the pocket more often than not. He makes plays with his legs, has a strong arm and seems to be leading his receivers.

Taking fewer sacks is key as he's been taken down 17 times this season including a season-high five times two weeks ago against the Packers. Not all of the sacks fall on him, but he shouldn't be afraid to try to make a play instead of holding the ball in the pocket for too long.

This is a massive test for Trubisky against a strong Philadelphia defense this week.

The use of Tarik Cohen and Adam Shaheen

Building is important for the Bears. Loggains has to be able to get his rookies on the field and let them grow up.

Cohen had 19 total yards on seven touches from Week 8-10. Last week, he was used more and it paid dividends as he totaled 13 touches for 59 yards and a touchdown run. Shaheen caught his second touchdown of the season against Detroit and now has six catches for 80 yards over his last two games.

I know Dion Sims is set to return from his illness after practicing in full on Friday, but Shaheen flashed his big body receiver skills. Trubisky and him need to continue their progressions. The same goes for Cohen, who is by far the best playmaker on this offense.

Jordan Howard will do his thing out of the backfield. But to get some confusion, Cohen, Shaheen and the rest of the young pass catchers must be targeted in open space.

Young defenders

We'll see Christian Jones and Nick Kwiatkoski once again at the two inside linebacker positions with Trevathan banged up.

Undrafted rookie linebacker Isaiah Irving will get his shot with Pernell McPhee (knee) questionable to play. Sam Acho will man one of the outside linebacker spots for sure.

Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks and slot corner Bryce Callahan are both questionable with knee injuries which would pave the way for second-year players Jonathan Bullard and Cre'Von LeBlanc. Hicks should be able to play though.

Regardless, this is a young defense that has shown promise. It is a shame that Trevathan, Floyd and Willie Young have suffered injuries. However, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio finds a way to make it work.

Cornerback play

Kyle Fuller looked shaky two weeks ago against Green Bay. Last week, he played better and a more aggressive style of football against the Lions.

He needs another solid game to boost his chances of being re-signed this off-season.

Prince Amukamara is also auditioning for his future with the Bears while Marcus Cooper is looking like a total free agent bust. Luckily, the Bears can move on from him with just a dead cap weight of $1 million next off-season.

To be clear, there is no No. 1 cornerback on this team. Management has ignored the position since Charles Tillman left. Fuller was supposed to to be the future. At times, he's looked like a solid No. 2 cornerback, but he isn't the answer as the main guy.

Pay attention to the Bears' cornerbacks this week against tight end Zach Ertz, former pal wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and the rest of the Eagles pass catchers.

New kicker

Connor Barth was replaced on Monday by 25-year-old Cairo Santos, the team announced. So Barth leaves after 26 games with the team, making 29-of-39 tries in two seasons and just 6-of-11 from 40 or more yards out. This is the same guy the Bears replaced longtime star kicker Robbie Gould with. A bad judgment call by the organization.

Santos had his best season in 2016, making 31-of-35 field goal attempts. He's made 22-of-28 from 40 to 49 yards out since 2014 and 7-of-12 from 50 plus. He was waived earlier this year with an adductor strain. He is a young leg that the Bears can develop.

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Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Chicago Bears.

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