Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/1/12

When the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys each take a long look into the mirror the image they may see is one of the team they both are playing against Monday night. 

Both teams opened the season with impressive wins. Both teams laid eggs in week two losses. Both teams looked lethargic in week three wins. Both teams have a quarterback constantly under scrutiny from the media.
This list can go on and on, but we will just leave it at that for right now.

With all the similarities, there is not much of a doubt the team with the least mistakes will leave Cowboys Stadium with a 3-1 record and tied for their respective division lead.

So without further ado, here are my three bold predictions for this NFC.

1. Bears' QB Jay Cutler will shine

Since the Bears gave up two first-round draft picks and a third-round pick four years ago, fans have been waiting for Cutler to lead them back to the Super Bowl. The heavily criticized signal caller has been perceived as one to cave under the pressure of the big game. Monday is as good a time as any to erase some of that doubt.

Cutler enters the game with a QB rating of 56.8 through the first three games, which ranked 31ist in the league at the start of week 4. He has thrown twice as many interceptions (6) as touchdowns (3) and has not thrown for over 200 yards since passing for 333 yards in a 41-21 romp over the Indianapolis Colts in the season opener.

Cutler has also thrown a pick in the last four games, dating back to his final start of last season, but look for that streak to end Monday. Look for offensive coordinator Mike Tice call for some early bubble screens and quick slants to receivers to get Cutler into and early rhythm. My prediction: 250 + yards, two touchdowns, and most importantly ZERO interceptions.

2. Bears' defense will be exposed

Through the first three weeks the Bears' defense has carried the team. The Bears lead the NFL with 14 sacks on the season and entering the week had given up the second fewest points (36) only to the Texans 33.

Like the Bears, the Cowboys offense has struggled in each of the last two weeks as well. It may sound strange to say a struggling offense if going to have a break-out game against a high profile defense like the Bears, but stranger things have happened. Just ask the San Francisco 49ers last week.

3. Devin Hester will have a breakout game

Two catches, 27 yards. Those are Hester’s total through the first three weeks of the season.
The dynamic play-maker -- known more for his return abilities than his receiving skills -- has publicly displayed his frustration. Mike Tice mentioned in the off-season the team would use a “Hester package” this season but has yet to unveil it at this point.

Hester dropped a third-down reception in his only target in the loss to the Packers in week 2, and could not haul in a rather difficult reception that would have been a touchdown last week. He has cited not being targeted as much in the offense as a reason for the lack of concentration, per say.

As part of my first prediction, look for Tice to feature Hester early in the game to make sure he is in rhythm with Cutler and the offense. Also look for the Bears to use him in the wildcat for a few snaps to let him create some plays on his own.

A score in the return game could also give Hester a little extra motivation.

Game Prediction: Bears 31, Cowboys 30

TRAVIS DAVID is a contributor of FOOTBALL NATOIN and can be reached at tdavid021@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tdavid_21.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark


Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker