What to Watch 4: Jay Cutler is 8-2 on MNF with Bears

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Bears rookie Cody Whitehair started at center in his first NFL game after having not played the position in college. (Jeff Haynes/AP)

BEARS-EAGLES — WHAT TO WATCH 4

KEY MATCHUP

After dealing with Vince Wilfork last week, Bears rookie center Cody Whitehair has another big challenge against Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox — a Pro Bowl player with 9 1/2 sacks in 2015 who had a sack and two pressures against the Browns last week.

“Smart guy. Strong guy. Real stout in the run game. Big power guy in the pass game,” Whitehair said. “We’ve got to get four hands on him in the run game and help the guards out and control him as best we can.”

The Bears are asking a lot of Whitehair. He was a Week 1 starter at center despite not playing the position in college and playing mostly guard in training camp and the preseason. He said he learned a lot last week.

“If you mess up one play, don’t dwell on it and just move on,” he said. “Make it up on the next play. That’s what I’ve been trying to do.”

Trending

Jay Cutler is 8-2 (.800) on Monday Night Football in his seven seasons with the Bears — the best winning percentage among 13 quarterbacks with seven or more MNF starts in that span.

Cutler has a 95.5 passer rating on MNF with the Bears — 197-of-320 for 2,334 yards, 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Measuring stick?

The Bears started 0-3 last year in John Fox’s first season with the Bears, but the schedule was brutal – the Packers, Cardinals and Seahawks. This should be a better gauge of progress.

“I don’t know that we started as fast a year ago [against the Packers] as we did last week in Houston,” Fox said. “We’ve had a great week of preparation. I’m anxious to see if we’ve improved or not.”

Player to watch

Second-year cornerback Jacoby Glenn showed potential in his first NFL start. Glenn, playing for injured starter Kyle Fuller, broke up a pass for Texans rookie Will Fuller in the end zone. But he he rued a missed tackle that sprang Fuller for a 27-yard gain on a short pass.

“That was on me — trying to take a kill shot instead of wrapping up. I’ll take the blame for it. It’s a lesson learned. It was the first game.

“It was a great experience. I think I played well. But I don’t think I played my best. I can play way better than that.”

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