Posts tagged ‘Bears’
by Sean - posted Friday, November 7th, 2008
As the Bears face their toughest test of the season almost certainly without starting QB Kyle Orton, the odds will be stacked against them. The Titans defense will look to feast on mistake-prone Rex Grossman and turn what could’ve been a close game into a blowout.
Still, the Bears are not without hope. This is a team that has played its best football against its toughest opponents with wins over the Colts and Eagles. The Bears will need to rise to that challenge again and play their best game of the year this Sunday.
For a look at how they might do it Bearscast sets the over/under on five key topics for this week:
Over/Under: 1.5 turnovers for Rex Grossman
Turnovers have always been Rex’s biggest issues. In games he’s committed one or zero turnovers the Bears are 17-6, and it will likely take one of those games for the Bears to eek out a victory this week.
Unfortunately it’s hard to imagine Rex standing up to the constant pressure of Albert Hansworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch and not making a few mistakes. Rex could still play a solid game, but the odds of him making a few mistakes especially given his lack of playing time are too great to go under.
Over/Under: 115 rushing yard for the Titans
The Titans average nearly 150 yards rushing per game and the Bears average giving up about 80, so 115 is right in the middle. Stopping the run is what the Bears D has done best all season holding 6 of 8 opponents to under 100 yards for the game,
But one of the two opponents to go over 100 was the Carolina Panthers and the Titans feature a similar two-back system. LenDale White will handle most of the between the tackles work and rookie speedster Chris Johnson is their home run hitter. The Bears should keep them contained most of the day, but one big run from Johnson could easily put the Titans over 115.
Over/Under: 7 tackles for Brian Urlacher
For the season Urlacher is only averaging 5.5 tackles per game. While that still has him second on the team it’s also far from the production we’ve come to expect. One reason for the low total could be how quickly teams abandon the run against the Bears, limiting opportunities for Urlacher and the entire front seven.
But this week they face a team that will not abandon the run. With Kerry Collins under center the Titans need to consistently pound the ball to take the pressure off of him. This should be and needs to be the game that Urlacher regains his form. He finished last year playing outstanding after taking some criticism over his early play; hopefully this season will pan out similarly.
Over/Under: 35% 3rd down conversion rate for Titans
For the year the Bears D has been great on 3rd down holding teams to a measly 32% conversion rate. However, they have still had a tendency to give up prolonged drives, which wears the defense out especially against a physically team like the Titans.
The Titans offensively have not been all that great converting only 39% of their 3rd downs on the season. The Bears ability to stop the run should put the Titans in lots of 3rd and 6+. Getting off the field then will be crucial to avoid breaking down in the 4th quarter against Tennessee’s running game.
Over/Under: 125 all-purpose yards for Matt Forte
Last week Forte showed the same flashes he had week-one against the Colts and reaffirmed that he was capable of carry the Bears to victory. If the Bears are going to get to 6-3 this Sunday he’ll need to do it again and should get plenty of opportunities.
With Hansworth clogging up the middle expect to see a lot of swing passes and stretch runs with Forte. He’s the Bears best and most consistent playmaker on offense and more than likely he’ll need to create something from nothing several times this week. If Forte can consistently get positive yards and keep the offense out of 3rd and long he’ll have put the Bears in a position to compete.
by Sean - posted Saturday, December 1st, 2007
This week’s preview will have a bit of a fairy tale theme. In part because I still can’t believe we actually won last week and also because the thought that we’ll make the playoffs is still a bit of a fantasy. Either way this will be a game that goes a long way to determining both teams fate. At 8-5 the Giants could take a deep breath and feel the playoffs are within their grasp, but at 7-6 the shadow of another 2nd half collapse begins to grow. For the Bears a loss means 5-7 and the crack in the playoff window gets slammed shut, but 6-6 leaves them right in the thick of things and I can continue to live in my fantasy land for one more week.
Bears Offense vs. Giants Defense: The Giants defense seems like it would be ideally built to give Rex and Co. a lot of problems. They lead the league in sacks and will be attacking an offensive line that has struggled in pass protection all year. Additionally the Bears will be without Cedric Benson, which could limit their ability to pound the ball inside (please hold the laughing) but more importantly might limit the effectiveness of play-action. But there is reason for hope considering this Giants team just gave up 139 QB rating to Tarvaris Jackson, at least the Vikings beat us with the Evil Twin (Adrian Peterson). This game will undoubtedly come down to the Bears ability to protect Rex and run the ball a little bit. With a little help from his receivers (by finally catching the ball consistently) Rex just might cut down the bean stalk in time to bring this Giants Defense down.
Bears Defense vs. Giants Offense: The Giants come to town with the only Quarterback in the NFL who might be more criticized than our own Rex Grossman. Eli Manning has become the Wizard in the “Wizard of Oz”, and last weekend against the Vikings might have finally pulled back the curtain. He had enticed the people of New York with the mirage that he might become his brother and is instead nothing but an average Quarterback. The problem in this game is the Bears once vaunted Defense has gone a long way this year to making average team look like juggernauts. Add in that they may be without Harris and a slowed Briggs and Vasher and you can see another frustrating performance coming. The Bears must stuff the run and apply pressure to force Eli into the rushed decisions that cause his mistakes. Wally Ogunleye has been on a tear over the last few weeks and if someone else can step up (:cough: Mark Anderson :cough:) to apply pressure from the other side the Bears might finally force some turnovers and give us a little peak back in time.
Special Teams Glance: Ok… I’ll admit it. The only reason I ever added this section was so I could devote an entire paragraph to talking about Devin Hester. Can you blame me? Maybe some of it is because the rest of the Bears outstanding special teams has been so consistent it’s seems rather repetitive to write every week that Maynard and Gould are amongst the best at what they do. Throw in Tillman’s punt block (has there been a more valuable Bear this year) and Izzy and the boys creating lanes for Hester and it just brings a smile to your face. The big question will be how the Giants handle kicking to Hester, but whether they give him the chance to burn them or not the field position will swing big in the Bears favor. Is this enough for our struggling offense? I think somehow Superman comes to the rescue again.
Prediction: Bears 24, Giants 17. Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.