Chicago Bears Week 4: What To Look For


Well, the Chicago Bears renew the oldest and most bitter rivalry in football on Sunday. They face the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field.

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The Packers are reeling a bit on the road, going 0-2 so far. Some Packers fans are already pushing the panic button, to which Aaron Rodgers says “RELAX!”

Let’s take a look at some of the key aspects of the matchups of this game. What the Bears have to do to come away with a victory at home.

Jay Cutler has to continue his steady play. 

Cutler has to have a breakthrough game against the Packers. He has not exactly lit them up over his career. He has a record of 1-8 against them

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(with a current six game losing streak), throwing 17 interceptions and compiling a 65.1 passer rating. Not good.

The Green Bay defense is ranked 28th in points allowed and 20th in total defense. This is the time for Cutler to put up big numbers.

Cutler has had a good season so far. He leads the NFL in touchdowns thrown in the red zone, and is second in total touchdowns thrown. He has also lowered his interception numbers. He has just two interceptions, both of them in the Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills. If he continues his controlled play, he should have another good game.

I does not matter how well Cutler is playing, if he does not beat the Packers, a lot of fans will continue feeling disappointed in him. He has to end the losing streak, and finally beat them in order for the Bears to be seriously considered a threat in the NFC North.

Matt Forte has to finally break through.

After a good first game against the Bills, Forte has struggled. He gained just

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19 yards against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2, and just 33 yards against the New York Jets. To be fair, though, he went up against two of the best defenses against the run, and those defenses keyed in on him.

This week should be different for Forte. The worst area of a bad Packers defense is their run defense. They rank 30th against the run, so Forte should have some openings in the run, and not just get passing yardage.

Forte’s running can ease a lot of pressure off of Cutler. If he is running well, then the Packers may bring more players to the line, opening up Cutler and his receivers.

Forte wants to show there is no drop off in his ability. He has been so under-appreciated over his career, so if he has another off day running the ball, some will start to look at him as declining, even though as I said, he went up against two run stopping teams keyed in on him.

The Bears defensive line must put pressure on Packers backfield.

The Packers have been hurting on the offensive line. They lost their starting center and have a rookie manning the position. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga is dealing with a left MCL sprain in his left knee.

Willie Young has been playing well this season, recording four sacks. Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston have to make their presence felt. Allen does not

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have a sack yet, but he has been putting more pressure on quarterbacks the last two games. He usually plays well against the Packers, so he needs to have another one on Sunday.

The defensive line needs to put the pressure on Rodgers. He has not had the weapons he normally has. There is no Jermichael Finley to help him at tight end. With him gone, the Packers have gotten almost nothing from their other tight ends.

The Packers are also hurting without James Jones. Jones was a dependable receiver that Rodgers always looked for. Rodgers has Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, but he has not shown any confidence in their other receivers, Jarrett Boykins and Davante Adams.

The Bears’ secondary has been hurting themselves, so if the line can do its job, it will help the secondary a great deal. The line has been doing pretty well so far, and the turnovers are racking up for the Bears defense once again. This must continue on Sunday.

Martellus Bennett must come up big. 

Bennett has had a terrific season. He leads all Bears receivers with 20 catches, and he is just one short of his career high in touchdown receptions. He must keep it going on Sunday, especially if Brandon Marshall is more hurt than we know.

Marshall had just one reception for six yards against the Jets, and if he cannot move like he normally can, Bennett will be crucial for the Bears offense.

Bennett has to use his size to outplay his defenders. Teams may want to start to double-team Alshon Jeffery if Marshall is slowed, so Cutler will be looking for him, especially in the red zone.

Bennett has felt disrespected this season, and is on a mission to earn the respect he feels he deserves. Being a key part in defeating the Packers will

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go a long way in earning that respect.

It will be another hard-fought, grind it out game between the Bears and Packers. The Bears are in the midst of a six-road-games-in-eight-total games stretch, and this is one of their two home games in that stretch.

Beating the Packers will give the Bears some added respect. Not many really have them giving the Packers a difficult time in the NFC North, so winning this game puts them two games ahead already. Win this game, and more people will take notice of Chicago.