The Bears’ front seven is one of the best in the NFL, if not the best, and will be expected to win decisively against a Redskins’ offensive line that, even without Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams, has held its own against the Eagles and Cowboys. Case Keenum has been sacked once in each game.
Linebacker Khalil Mack, who had a sack against the Broncos last week, is always a factor and will be matched up mostly against Redskins right tackle Morgan Moses, who helped hold the Cowboys’ DeMarcus Lawrence without a sack last week.
“[Khalil Mack’s] a complete player,” Moses said this week. “He’s gotten better over the years, and he’s a complete guy. He’s one of the few guys that can play the run just as well as the pass, so you gotta be ready to play a complete game.”
With Williams out, Donald Penn, Mack’s former teammate with the Raiders, is at left tackle. Mack is looking forward to that matchup as well. The two exchanged texts earlier in the week.
“That’s my bro, man,” Mack said of Penn. “He’s a big part of my development early on in Oakland. He helped me with a lot of different things as far as getting my pass rush game together. We had some good battles in practice. It’s going to be a battle again on Monday.”
The Bears offense, which ranks 30th in total yards and 28th in passing, will be looking to get healthy against a Redskins defense that ranks 30th in yards, 31st in rushing and 25th in passing after two weeks.
Likewise, the Redskins defense, which is tied for 30th in points allowed, will be trying to get healthy against a Bears’ offense that is tied for 30th in points scored.
Player to watch
Even teams that sign Keenum think they can do better than him, but the Redskins quarterback has a knack for getting the job done. He beat the Bears twice with the Vikings in 2017 — once in relief of Sam Bradford and once as a starter. And he’s off to a good start in place of Alex Smith this season — five touchdown passes, no interceptions and a 111.2 passer rating.
“He’s a guy that’s overlooked,” Bears safety Eddie Jackson said. “People don’t give him a lot of credit that he deserves. He’s a guy if you sleep on him he can make a lot of plays.”
The Bears are coming off an emotional walk-off victory against Vic Fangio’s Broncos last week. Matt Nagy was expert last year in keeping the Bears eye on the ball emotionally — after big victories or tough losses. On Monday Night Football, on the road, the first quarter will be key in this one.