The Chicago Bears play the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in what is the start of the most important three games of the season for the Bears.
The Bears and Detroit Lions are currently tied at the top of the NFC North division with records of 7-6. The Lions, however, own the tie-breaker over the Bears. With the Lions playing on Monday, the Bears need to put pressure on Detroit by defeating the Browns on Sunday.
These next three games also are the most important three games that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has ever played in. Cutler is returning from a high-ankle sprain that has kept the quarterback sidelined since November 10. In place of Cutler, backup quarterback Josh McCown has excelled. McCown has excelled to the point where many fans and media members were suggesting that Cutler should remain on the sidelines.
Nonetheless, Bears head coach Marc Trestman did not waver in his decision and named Cutler as the starting quarterback of the Bears going forward. For Cutler and the Bears, beyond playoff implications, these next three games will go a long way in the contract negotiations between the two-sides this off-season.
It begins against the Browns.
The Browns are one of the better defenses that the Bears have faced of late. Better than any defense that McCown faced while playing in place of an injured Cutler. The Browns defense is eighth in the NFL against the pass allowing only 222.4 passing yards per game. Meanwhile, the Browns defense is fourth in the NFL against the run allowing 98 rushing yards per game. Snow showers are expected in the Bears game against the Browns. Meaning the timing is right for the strong-armed Cutler to return to the Bears.
Browns quarterback Jason Campbell and wide receiver Josh Gordon have given Cleveland a respectable passing offense. Gordon has over 600 receiving yards in the Browns last three games. That being said, the Bears have defended well of late against the pass. The Achilles Heel of the Bears defense continues to be their defense against the run. If the Browns rush for over 100 yards today, that would be the seventh straight game that the Bears have allowed over 100 rushing yards in a game. That would be a NFL record. Willis McGahee has been the starting running back of the Browns this season but will not play on Sunday against the Bears. Instead, Chris Ogbonnaya will get the start. Ogbonnaya is averaging 5.3 yard per carry for the Browns this season.
Cutler and the Bears offense will struggle at first before finding success against the Browns defense. That being said, the Bears offense will certainly have the advantage over the Browns offense. With that in mind, Bears win 31-20 over the Browns.
Start Time: 12:00 p.m.
Live Stream: NFL.com
Television Information: 12, Fox Chicago
Radio Information: WBBM 780 AM