Which Chicago Bears players must the Washington Commanders silence when the two sides square off on Thirsday Night Football?
Justin Fields should be the main focus for the Washington Commanders when they host the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football in Week 5. Yet, the dual-threat quarterback isn't the only player they need to keep quiet.
The Chicago Bears haven't won a game so far during the 2023 NFL season, but the Commanders can't be overconfident at FedEx Field. If they are, Fields has the physical tools and playmaking flair to spring an upset, but he'll need help.
Fields will likely get assistance from at least one underrated wide receiver. If these players are allowed to click, Chicago's passing game can shred a Washington secondary beaten frequently by Pro Bowler A.J. Brown and the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4.
The mission for the Commanders' defense is clear. Things are a little muddier for an offense that proved it can hang with the league's elites against the Eagles.
Sam Howell's performance was a big reason, but the young quarterback will need more time in the pocket than he had at Lincoln Financial Field. So the Commanders must control one productive, veteran edge-rusher.
With this in mind, here are three Bears players that must be silenced on Thursday Night Football.
Commanders OL must limit Yannick Ngakoue
The Bears have just two sacks to their credit, one from Yannick Ngakoue. He still knows how to put heat on the pocket, knowledge that should worry a struggling Washington Commanders' offensive line.
Sam Howell was sacked five times by the Eagles. Offensive tackles Charles Leno Jr. and Andrew Wylie both struggled to contain pressure from the edges, which was always a possibility coming up versus a stout defensive front.
Wylie has been floundering since signing from the Kansas City Chiefs during free agency. This shoddy rep against Haason Reddick was his latest costly error.
Ngakoue could find similar joy if he lines up over Wylie, but the 28-year-old defensive end is comfortable playing on either side of a front seven. The edge tackle tandem will likely need help from running backs chipping the defender to keep the former Pro Bowler under wraps.
Teams have moved the ball at will on the Bears' defense, Ngakoue aside. But there's enough talent on the other side of the ball to worry the Commanders.
Starting with Fields' favorite target.