My game preview was pretty good a week ago (feel free to go take a look). I thought the Bears defensive line would dominate the game and they went out and did it. I am NOT as confident this week. But I know one thing: I’m taking the under at 41.5.
WHY DO I LIKE THE CHICAGO BEARS THIS WEEK?
- I always like the Chicago Bears.
- I like what Cam Worrell said regarding this being a schematic mismatch favoring the Chicago Bears. The Bears should play this game in their strict cover-2 and dare the Cowboys to run the ball all night long.
- I’m at a point where I WANT opposing quarterbacks to attack our corners, especially Tim Jennings. He’s simply playing the position as well as anyone in the league right now.
- If you saw the Cowboys play the Bucs, one thing became apparent: the Bears front should dominate for the second straight week.
- The Cowboys defense can play. They’ve got two terrific corners (Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne) and perhaps the best pass rusher in the sport (DeMarcus Ware). Expect defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to attack J’Marcus Webb and the Bears should be prepared for that from SNAP ONE. Don’t sacrifice a drive or two before making adjustments.
- Matt Forte is the key to the game. Without question. The Bears need to slow the Cowboys rush with the run game and counter their over-aggression with screens.
- I’d like to see Brandon Marshall win his one-on-ones and dominate the way he dominated Darrelle Revis last year when with the Dolphins. Marshall isn’t a good receiver. He’s a great receiver. He needs to play like one Monday night. (More on this Monday.)
- Field position will be key and Adam Podlesh kicked the ball far better against the Rams. Give the Cowboys long fields and Romo will give the Bears the ball.
- Dallas acquiring former Bills punter Brian Moorman is cause for concern. Moorman struggled this summer but he’s been one of the most reliable punters in the game for years. His directional kicking has been astounding over his career and he may be able to keep punts out of Hester’s hands.
- Per Zach Zaidman: “In 8 career Monday Night Football games, Devin Hester has 6 touchdowns (3 PR, 2 KR, 1 receiving).” You think Skunk likes the primetime? He’s waiting for THAT moment.
- I expect the Cowboys to release Jason Witten over the middle repeatedly to test Brian Urlacher in space. Witten has had a terrible start to the year but I don’t think the Cowboys can ignore a not full strength Urlacher.
- I do think DeMarco Murray will have success running the ball at times. The Bears are not great against the run. They are good. If Dallas gets a lead the Bears will struggle to get them off the field.
- This is a big game for Jay Cutler. Undeniable. He has struggled against premiere opponents, struggled in prime time and struggled when under duress. He needs to step under the Arlington lights and deliver his team a victory. He needs an 18-21, 240 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interception performance to steady the quarterbacking ship in Chicago.
THRIVE & SURVIVE!
- Thrive: Jay Cutler will avoid the top two corners whenever possible and Earl Bennett will have a terrific game in the slot against Jenkins, Scandrick or whomever he sees.
- Survive: Kevin Ogletree has not been the player who made that sterling debut on opening Wednesday night in the Meadowlands but he is capable of big games every weekend. DJ Moore will have the difficult task of keeping him silent.
BOLD STATISTICAL PREDICTIONS
- Jay Cutler will have more than 25 yards rushing the football.
- Kellen Davis will have 4 catches, 58 yards and a touchdown.
- Julius Peppers will have 2.5 sacks.
Two terrific defenses and capable-yet-currently-sputtering offenses. I think both trends continue.
Chicago Bears 16, Dallas Cowboys 13