Jay Cutler has led the Chicago Bears to two fourth quarter comebacks and a 2-0 start. Now they head to western Pennsylvania to face the finest franchise of the Super Bowl era.
So why do I like the Chicago Bears this?
I always like the Chicago Bears.
BUT WHAT FOOTBALL REASONS, JEFF?
- Pittsburgh’s offensive line is a mess right now, especially on the edges. Adding a pass rush to the Bears already stout run-stopping defense should lead to a difficult night for Roethlisberger and company.
- Did you see how Jay Gruden dissected the aging the Steelers secondary with Tyler Eifert? I expect a big game over the middle from both Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte. Pittsburgh doesn’t have a player on their defensive roster to cover either one of them.
- I think Devin Hester continues his ascension and I firmly believe we’re going to start seeing him affect game plans the way he did five years ago. It is not a reach to ask the question, “Will Mike Tomlin kick to Hester?” It’s easy to say “no” but far harder to execute.
- I think the Bears are playing better at basically every position on the field. The only argument to the contrary I can plausibly make is Zoltan Mesko over Adam Podlesh at punter. (Mesko, by the way, will be the third straight left-footed punter the Bears face this season. From the Sun-Times: “I don’t know if that’s ever happened,” Bears special-teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said. STATS isn’t sure. The data company just started tracking the stat.)
DA BEAR CONCERNS
- Concern #1: There is a very good possibility the Pittsburgh Steelers won’t be as desperate & hungry again this year. A loss at home would send them to 0-3 and all-but end their postseason hopes this year. I used to subscribe to a simple rule when it came to gambling on the NFL: always bet the team that needs the game more. There is no way to make an argument that team is the Chicago Bears this week. Here is how Florio wrote it in his game prediction:
Florio’s take: The Steelers rarely are on the mat. When it happens, they find a way to get up. Eight years ago, they were left for dead after a loss to the Bengals, and the Steelers sparked a run that resulted in a Super Bowl win by beating the Bears at Heinz Field. Though it’s way too early to even think about playoffs in Pittsburgh (except for the baseball team), it’s not too early to envision a proud franchise mustering enough punch to bring the 2-0 Bears back down to earth a bit.
- Concern #2: Ben Rothlisberger has deep threats but he’s been unable to get them the ball downfield due to his offensive line’s inability to block anyone. If the Bears don’t mount a pass rush against Large Benjamin they’ll find themselves chasing the speed of Brown of Sanders down the sidelines all evening long.
- Concern #3: If Joe DeCamillis doesn’t get the kick coverage squared away Felix Jones will break one. There is pressure on Joe D this week. Serious pressure.
THE MATCH-UP OF REMARKABLE IMPORTANCE
- CB Ike Taylor v. WR Brandon Marshall. We all know Jay Cutler is going to throw the ball to Brandon Marshal AT LEAST half a dozen times whether he’s open or not. As if you believe the inane ramblings for Jon Gruden, Taylor is the greatest cornerback to ever set foot on the earth. (Gruden is, of course, crazy.) Pittsburgh needs to take Marshall out of the game or they’ll be down three scores at halftime.
Martellus Bennett appeared on Waddly & Silvy and discussed his new head coach:
“If you really look at Coach, he’s a genius,” Bennett said. “And a lot of times when you’re around really, really smart people, you don’t really understand them. I thought Willy Wonka was brilliant. I mean he had all kinds of candy. Who doesn’t like chocolate and candies? Everybody wanted a Gobstopper. Ya know? I just think he’s brilliant.”
THE MOST INTERESTING PLAYER ON THE FIELD
- Bears SS Major Wright. If the Steelers are going to make big plays against this Bears defense it will happen by attacking the aggressiveness of the Bears corners over the top and Wright has been beaten a few times. With a struggling Steelers offensive line and little coming out their run game, Mel Tucker should be able to keep his safeties home and stay in safer, cover-2 looks. Wright needs a solid effort.
THESE VIDEOS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH FOOTBALL
August Wilson is one of the greatest writers to have ever walked the face of this earth. Pittsburgh was his muse. Enjoy this. It’s bigger than life. Listen to the name.
But Chicago has an answer:
A SINGLE STAT PREDICTION (1-1)
- Robbie Gould kicks three or more field goals.
WRAPPING IT UP IN ONE SENTENCE
Pittsburgh’s defense makes a few big plays to keep them alive but too much Cutler, too much Forte and too much Bears pass rush sends the Steelers to 0-3 and a long season.
- Chicago Bears 26, Pittsburgh Steelers 13