I’ll be watching the Bears take on the Raiders from the Redi Room, a small biker bar on Saratoga Avenue in San Jose, California. The place will have about four people in it and three will be Raiders fans. (It’s amazing out here. Every tough person likes the Raiders. All the nice people like the 49ers.) Here’s what I’ll be watching.
Cutler and the Receivers. It seems most teams are giving the starting offenses about a quarter and a half of playing time in these second games and I’d expect the same for Cutler. In the first game, he zeroed in on Johnny Knox for a pair of completions but I’d expect to see Mad Mike try and incorporate both the Devins and some of the screen package against Oakland.
Pass Rush. We can bark all we want about the preseason not mattering but if Jason Campbell has the kind of time Phil Rivers had in the pocket, warning flags will be raised around the city of Chicago. The Bears paid an awful lot of money for a double-digit sack man and are expecting a rejuvenated middle of the defensive line (especially Tommie Harris). The question will be: when does it start to shows its face?
Establishing the Starting Five. I would expect that whomever Mike Tice lines up along the offensive line to start the game tomorrow night will be the five guys he hopes to line up against Detroit to open the season. Who he decides to sub out and when could be the most interesting coaching decision of the evening.
Those are my big three. What are yours?