Even though the Chicago Bears are listed as the favorites in their game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, many NFL experts are picking the Bengals to defeat the Bears in the season opener for both teams.
If the Bears do lose to the Bengals on Sunday, it likely will be because the Bears’ offensive line could not withstand the pressure from the Bengals’ defensive line. That is one of the keys to victory for the Bengals on Sunday.
- Test The Bears Offensive Line–Four out of the five starting offensive linemen for the Bears were not on the team last season. In addition, the Bears have two rookies starting on the right side of the offensive line in Kyle Long and Jordan Mills. The Bengals need to rush Geno Atkins directly at Long and Mills. Chances are the pair of rookies will not be able to handle the pressure.
- Target Jonathan Bostic–The Bears have yet to announce who will be starting at the middle linebacker position, but rookie Jonathan Bostic is expected to split time with D.J. Williams. The Bengals need to target Bostic, who the Bears admitted made several mistakes during the pre-season.
- Force Jay Cutler To Look At Other Options–Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall has struggled in his career against the Bengals. The Bengals defense needs to force Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler to look at other options. Cutler has shown a preference for Marshall, the Bears’ offense may falter if the wide receiver is unable to make an impact.
- Don’t Detract From Gameplan–The Bears are not on tape. Meaning chances are that the Bengals will see something from the Bears that they haven’t planned for. It is important that the Bengals do not stray away from their gameplan; as that will likely give them the victory.
- Isolate Matt Forte–Forte has had an impressive pre-season with the Bears. For the Bengals, they need contain the Bears’ running back. Forte is a duo-threat running back and the Bengals need to limit the running back to being a single threat. Doing so would be a significant victory for the Bengals’ defense.