Chicago Bears: 3 matchups to exploit against the Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Jordan Howard Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Play-action vs. Cardinals safeties

As bad as the Cardinals offense has been, the defense has matched them step for step. Granted, their offense going three and out on virtually every possession isn’t doing them any favors. Regardless, they have given up a ton of points to both the Washington Redskins and the Los Angeles Rams.

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They currently rank 27th in passing yards per game (294.5), 29th in rushing yards per game (136 ), and 30th in total yards per game (430.5). Looking at those statistics, it feels like the Bears can kind of have their way with them. It also seems to give Matt Nagy and staff a ton of options in terms of developing a game plan.

While the defense overall has been atrocious, one area in which they have some talent is their safeties. Second-year strong safety Budda Baker and veteran free safety Antoine Bethea, form a fairly formidable pair patrolling deep for the Cardinals.

At some point though, the Cardinals are going to have to pick their poison. Ranking near the bottom of the league in both rushing and passing defense doesn’t give them many options. With Mitch Trubisky struggling some through two games, I suspect they will focus on trying to stop Jordan Howard and the running game. They will also look to limit the damage on the run/pass options, jet sweeps, and swing passes that Nagy uses in lieu of standard running plays.

While I suspect they will try to load the box to some extent, I can also envision a scenario where the safeties start to creep down towards the line of scrimmage — at least until Mitch proves he can hurt them.

If they do, the Bears can take advantage by using play-action effectively to gain one-on-one matchups on the outside. From play-action, Trubisky can either drop straight back or roll out where he has been most effective so far this season.