Chicago Bears Week 10 Preview: St. Louis Rams


The Chicago Bears travel to St. Louis to face the Rams. They are trying to build on the great comeback win they had on the road in San Diego and get closer to the .500 mark. 

The Chicago Bears went on the road on Monday and came away with an exciting come-from-behind victory. Now they will try to build on that and win another road game, this time against the St. Louis Rams.

After starting the season at 0-3, the Bears are now 3-2 for the season. The Rams are 4-4, but have some impressive wins against the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals, and almost beat the Minnesota Vikings last week.

On offense, Jay Cutler and the Bears need to keep the momentum going. He must stay away from the turnovers. The Bears survived two of them last week, but this is an opportunistic and aggressive defense, so Cutler must protect that ball.

Cutler has played well since coming back from his hamstring injury. He has 1,442 yards while completing 64 percent of his passes (129 of 202), has eight touchdowns and three interceptions. He also led three comeback victories.

Cutler’s job will be made more difficult if Alshon Jeffery is not there. He pulled a groin during practice and may not play on Sunday. He had 151 yards receiving on ten catches last week, so if he cannot go on Sunday, together with Eddie Royal already being ruled out, passing yards may come at a premium for Cutler.

The offensive line will be tested. There have been multiple injuries along the line, but for the most part they have done well. Matt Slauson moved from guard to center after Will Montgomery was lost for the season. He went back to guard when Hroniss Grasu took over at center, but he also got hurt, and Slauson had to move back to center.

He has done well at center. He allowed just three quarterback hurries and no sacks. “He’s a professional,” head coach John Fox said of Slauson. “He didn’t have any problems that way. It’s just different. He had most of his reps as a left guard. So I think it was pretty amazing what he was able to do.”

Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears /

Chicago Bears

Let’s see what happens when Slauson and the other linemen go up against Aaron Donald, Chris Long and the other defensive linemen of the Rams. Long is doubtful, so if he does not play, it helps the Bears out greatly.

The Bears need to take advantage of the Rams’ aggressiveness by utilizing the run. A few draw plays should get big chunks of yards. Jeremy Langford had a pretty good game against the Chargers last week (72 rushing yards and a touchdown, 70 receiving yards) in place of injured Matt Forte, and with Forte being out again, he will need to have another good showing.

On defense, the Bears are also beat up on the defensive line. Injuries, trades, cuts and suspensions have put a lot of pressure on the line.

Facing Rams running back Todd Gurley will be a huge challenge. Gurley has already been compared to Vikings great Adrian Peterson, and they say he is not even completely healed from the knee injury he suffered last season playing for the University of Georgia.

Gurley has 664 yards rushing, which ranks fourth in the NFL, despite missing the first two games of the season while recovering from that injury. If he is able to romp on Sunday, it will be a long day.

The Bears rushing defense ranks 24th against the run, so they must perform better for the Bears to have any chance of winning the game.

The Bears defense needs to make Rams quarterback Nick Foles to try to beat them. If they pressure him, he will make mistakes, especially in the red zone, where he is completing just 47 percent of his passes and has two interceptions.

The Bears also need to win third down. If they can force the Rams into passing third down situations, they will thrive. Foles has completed just 46 percent of his passes on third down.

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The Bears special teams unit has given up a third-worst three touchdown returns. On Sunday, they face punt return specialist Tavon Austin. Austin averages 10.1 yards per punt returns, and has a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown.

In addition to Forte, Jeffery and Royal on the injured list, another key player who has not practiced this week is Pernell McPhee. He is also questionable, a game-time decision. He has been the Bears best defensive player, so they really need him out on the field.

Next: Chicago Bears Mid-Season Report Card

This should be a grind-it-out game. If Cutler does not have his main guy Jeffery, then the pressure will be put on the Bears’ running game. The Rams do not have a great passing game, but have Gurley, so this may turn out to be an old fashioned three yards and a cloud of dust old school game.