Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/22/13
Two teams headed in opposite directions meet up under the bright lights on Sunday night. For the first time under the guidance of Mike Tomlin the Pittsburg Steelers enter a contest two games under .500.The Chicago Bears on the other hand are thriving under first-year head coach Marc Trestman.The most glaring issue for the Steelers is the lack of a running game. Through the first two games, the Steelers have mustered only 75 yards on the ground. Felix Jones, who was signed at the end of the preseason, leads the team with a modest 37 yards on 10 totes.The biggest reason for the lack of production on the ground was the loss of starting center Maurkice Pouncey. The three-time pro bowl selection went down with a season-ending knee injury on the first series in the Steeler week 1 loss to the Titans.The passing game has also suffered. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked seven times on the season and has a quarterback rating of 74.8 with two touchdowns and two picks.The offense could get a boost with rookie running back Le’Veon Bell expected to return to the lineup. Bell, the Steeler’s second-round draft choice practiced for Thursday and Friday."I really exceeded what I thought I was going to do out there today," Bell told ESPN.com on Friday.Even at 2-0 the Bears have issues of their own. The biggest certain for the Bears has been the lack of a pass rush. Through two games the Bears have registered only two sacks. Trestman has admitted defensive end Julius Peppers has not been at 100 percent. The perennial pro bowler vowed he is fine and will be ready for Sunday night.A struggling Steelers offensive line may be just what the doctor ordered for the Bears front seven.On the contrast, the revamped Bears offensive line has been a pleasant surprise. Quarterback Jay Cutler, who is in the final year of his current contract, has only been sacked once. Cutler has been allowed more time to survey the field and find offensive weapons, not named Brandon Marshall.Martellus Bennett has benefited the most, as the play-making tight end has caught three touchdown passes this year. The total matches the production from all Bears tight ends from last season.Matt Forte has also benefited from the new look Bears offense. After a relatively average game in week 1 against the Bengals, Forte had 30 touches last week against the Vikings. Look for Trestman and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer to continue to game plan for Forte to get between 25-30 touches each week.At 0-2 the Steeler are desperate for a win. With the Bears set to hit the road against next week against bitter NFC North rival Detroit, this could present the perfect trap game for the visitors.If the Bears can win the war in the trenches on both sides of the ball, continue to spread the ball around on offense and win the turnover battle they should send the Steelers reeling to a 0-3 start.Look for the Steelers to come out with a little more motivation and fire on Sunday night.PREDICTION: Steelers defense steps up and forces the Bears into a couple turnovers and gets the running game going to avoid a 0-3 hole to start the season. Steelers 20, Bears 16. TRAVIS DAVID is a contributor for FOOTBALL NATION and can be reached at tdavid021@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tdavid_21.
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