Posted by Holly Phelps on September 23, 2010 Jump To Comments
The Chicago Bears are 2-0. Not what you were expecting, right?
You can argue that they should have lost to the Lions because of a bad rule. You can argue that they didn’t so much beat the Cowboys as the Cowboys beat themselves. But what you can’t argue is that the Bears are supremely confident coming into this game. And confidence may be the key to a primetime victory.
On offense, the Bears are running on all cylinders. Mike Martz’s scheme takes advantage of mismatches all across the field, and it seems to be working. Jay Cutler has the league’s best passer rating. Sure there’s no running game, but splitting Matt Forte out wide has resulted in huge gains. And with no clear “go-to” receiver among 7 pass-catchers, and only 2 games on tape, the Bears offense may be tough to defend. Even if Clay Matthews pulls another hat trick in sacks, I’d focus on Morgan Burnett and Sam Shields – the ball’s going to be coming their way often, and it’s probably going to be coming out with speed.
On defense, you know that Brian Urlacher is eager to get back at the team that ended his season 35 snaps into Week 1. If you saw Carolina’s game against the Giants last year, you know that Julius Peppers will come to play. His relentlessness seems to have rubbed off on Lance Briggs, who looks as disruptive as ever. Rodgers should be able to hit his receivers, but the Packers line will have its hands full. Ryan Grant was a huge part of the Packers success against the Bears last year. Without him in the lineup, the Packers must find a new way to win.
Let’s not forget that, despite finishing the season at a mediocre 7-9, the Bears did twice in 2009 what the Packers couldn’t — win against elite QBs. In week 2, they contained Ben Roethlisburger and the Steelers.
A win this week would make a “statement” for either team. The Bears want to prove that they should be in the conversation of contenders. The Packers want to prove that they can put together 60 minutes of solid football. This is a big stage, and the divisional lead is at stake. Prepare yourself for a battle worthy of this great rivalry.
Still can’t get enough of the write-up on this game? Head over to my full Opposition Research post, which tries to figure out if the Bears are who we thought they were. Don’t let the Bears off the hook, folks. Remember — they still suck.