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Would Bears rest players Sunday night?

Posted Dec 19, 2013

Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses whether the Bears would rest key players if Sunday night's game doesn't matter in their quest for a division title, facing the Eagles in prime-time and how Jay Cutler has fared against Philadelphia.

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

If the Bears don't have anything to play for Sunday night against the Eagles, do you think that coach Marc Trestman will rest some of his key players?

Bruce H.
Ottawa, Illinois

That's an interesting question. If the Lions lose to the Giants and the Packers beat the Steelers earlier in the day, Sunday night's game in Philadelphia won't mean anything to the Bears in terms of the division race. In that scenario, the NFC North title would go to the winner of the Week 17 game between the Bears and Packers regardless of what transpires in Philadelphia. Playoff seeding is another issue, however. The third and fourth seeds could be determined by the result of Sunday night's game, so the Bears will have something to play for regardless of what happens in other games. Coach Marc Trestman addressed the issue this week, saying: "We're 8-6 and we need to continue to progress and win. That's No. 1. No. 2 is winning does take us to a different place in terms of potential seed, which is critically important. So just leaving it at that is enough to reason  out how we would want to play the game. Now could that change? Certainly. But right now we're focused  on winning a game. At 7 o'clock Sunday night if the situation needs to be reevaluated again, it's open for discussion. Right now, logically, not a minute has gone by where we've thought about that. The only thing we're thinking about is finding one more way to beat the Eagles and put our team in the best position to have success on Sunday night."

It seems like whenever the Bears play the Eagles, the game is always at night. Am I right?

Dave C.
San Mateo, California

Yes, you are right. Sunday night's game will mark the fourth time in the last five meetings that the Bears and Eagles will face each other in a prime-time contest. The Bears are 2-1 in those games, beating the Eagles 24-20 in 2008 at Soldier Field on Sunday Night Football and 30-24 in 2011 on Monday Night Football in Philadelphia, and losing 24-20 in 2008 on Sunday Night Football at Soldier Field. The Bears lead the overall series 30-11-1 and have won four of the last five.

How has Jay Cutler fared in his career against the Eagles?

John F.
Greencastle, Indiana

In three career starts against the Eagles, Jay Cutler has completed 56 of 96 passes for 626 yards with seven touchdowns, one interception and a 97.8 passer rating. In the last meeting between the teams, Cutler connected on 18 of 32 passes for 208 yards with two TDs, no interceptions and a 96.9 passer rating in a 30-24 win in Philadelphia on Nov. 7, 2011.

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