Old familiar faces
Just as Nagy and Pederson are familiar with each other, there are two notable players who will experience a little deja vu on Sunday when they face their old team for the first time.
For Alshon Jeffery, it will be his first return to Chicago since he was not brought back by general manager Ryan Pace after the 2016 season. He signed with the Eagles the next year where he won a Super Bowl and got a chance to trounce his former team in Philadelphia.
But returning to Soldier Field will no doubt stir up some emotions as it’s where Alshon began his NFL career and became a very solid wide receiver. This season, he has 65 receptions for 843 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is most dangerous as a deep threat, but the Bears have been extremely good at limiting big plays this season. That’ll have to continue on Sunday.
Another player that will have a surreal experience is Bears tight end, Trey Burton. Although he’ll be in the familiar confines of Soldier Field, it will be odd to see his teammates, with whom he won a Super Bowl last season, across the line of scrimmage. Not only did he win a Super Bowl, but he played an integral role, as he was the one who threw the touchdown to Nick Foles as part of the “Philly Special.”
Ironically, the Bears ran a similar play against the New York Giants this season to tie the game and send it into overtime. When they were installing the play during the week, the call was for Burton, not Tarik Cohen to throw the pass, but apparently, Burton couldn’t bring himself to do it, as it was the emotions were still too raw. In fact, it gave him “crazy anxiety” to even think about it.
Each player is certainly going to have to manage their emotions on Sunday in what will be a huge game for both mentally, and physically.