Prevent the Big AP Run
I never believe in the statistics when it comes to the Bears rush defense, especially against AP. Peterson has had a knack for playing possum throughout a first half and then breaking an 85 yarder and breaking open the football game. For me, this responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the linebacking corps – Briggs, Urlacher and Tinoisamoa. If the Bears commit a safety into the box, they will watch Visanthe Shiancoe dominate them down the seam for double-digit catches.
Hit Brett Favre Early
I know this sounds strange to say but early in the game the Bears attackers need to be willing to earn a mid-week letter from the NFL notifying them that they owe the league $25,000. Brett Favre is a brittle man right now; more brittle than he’s been over the duration of his why-won’t-it-just-end career. Julius Peppers and the resurgent Israel Idonije need to make Favre pay for standing in the pocket. If he’s going to strike deep, they need to execute him for his execution. And yes, they need to embrace the Butkusian concept of hitting a quarterback late to send a message. 15 yards is a slight price to pay for three and a half quarters of Tarvaris Jackson.
Dominate on Special Teams
I believe the Bears have the best special teams in the league but they’ve yet to dominate a game like they did during their heyday in 2006 and much of 2007. Devin is Devin but he’s been the only superior performer. The kick returners are a respectable 9th in the league but they haven’t scored. Robbie Gould missed a huge field goal in Toronto and has been inconsistent on his kickoffs (though better with touchbacks). Brad Maynard has been 85% terrible this season and will have whoever is coaching the team next year bringing competition to camp. It is time for everyone’s A game. It is time for Bears specials to control field position, momentum and the pace of the game. If we’re meant to expect our best to play their best, it starts with our special teams.