Expectations are as high as they’ve ever been in Chicago as we inch closer to Sunday. The Bears will open up against the Indianapolis Colts in a very winnable game, but one they shouldn’t overlook with a Week 2 trip to Green Bay on the back of their minds.
One reason expectations are through the roof is Chicago’s new receiving corps. Chicago has been known as a ground and pound team, but that’s because they haven’t had a legitimate No. 1 receiver for years. Bring in Brandon Marshall, who was an All-Pro when teamed with Jay Cutler in Denver, and all of a sudden, the Bears have a passing attack.
It’s not just Marshall, however. Chicago used its second round draft pick on Alshon Jeffry. He is 6’3” and will cause nightmares for any teams as Chicago nears the end zone.
Also on Jeffry’s side is that Marshall will be the one requiring the double team. As long as Jeffry can beat his man in coverage, which should be done with ease against Indianapolis’ suspect secondary, he could really make a name for himself in his first NFL
Cutler loves all the weapons around him, and newly appointed Offensive Coordinator Mike Tice has given Cutler more freedom at the line of scrimmage. Under Mike Martz, everything was controlled, meaning Cutler didn’t have the ability to audible. Now, Cutler can read a defense and made the decision himself about what he feels will be a more suitable play.
Let’s not forget the running game. Matt Forte is still the main man in the backfield after signing a nice extension this offseason. Forte, however, may be quiet in the regular season opener.
Believe it or not, he has never run well against a 3-4 defense in his career. In fact, last season, in three games against the scheme he carried 34 times for 71 yards. He played well catching the ball, but still never found the end zone for the Bears.
The offensive line is Chicago’s weak spot, so if Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney can continuously get by the tackles, it could be a long day for Cutler.
Chicago’s defense on the other hand, is very strong. Julius Peppers always requires a double team, so it’s someone else’s job to step up. The Bears made Shea McClellin their first round draft pick this April, and he should be in on passing situations to get to the quarterback.
Brian Urlacher has already announced he’s playing Sunday to shore up the linebackers. Their secondary is rather weak, but their Tampa-2 style will have others making the big plays for them.
As always with the Bears, watch out for their special teams. Devin Hester is a nightmare for the opposition, and they’ve also added Eric Weems into the fold. Both players can take it to the house in a blink of an eye, and can really alter the swing as far as field position is concerned.
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