Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/17/12

St. Louis at Chicago

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Soldier Field, Chicago - TV: FOX; DirecTV: 704

*TV announcers: Dick Stockton, John Lynch, Jennifer Hale

*Keys to the game: Without RB Matt Forte (ankle), Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice will be more cognizant of protecting QB Jay Cutler with shorter drops. Bush surprised the Bears with his soft hands as a receiver, but Cutler used Forte as a primary target. St. Louis can overwhelm some of the better offensive lines in football and with improvement in the secondary, Cutler's overconfidence could have devastating consequences as it did with the Packers. The Rams' wide receiver corps might not sell many jerseys, but they're precise route-runners with the bravado to go across the middle of the field. QB Sam Bradford pushes the ball to his running backs regularly. Steven Jackson and rookies Daryl Richardson are targets on wheel and flat patters that will challenge MLB Brian Urlacher. He has looked creaky in two games after multiple procedures on his knee since January. Keeping him upright might be tricky if Rodger Saffold (knee) misses the game, pitting Rams swing tackle Wayne Hunter against Bears DE Julius Peppers.

*Matchup to watch - Bears WR Brandon Marshall vs. Rams CB Cortland Finnegan: Marshall stirred excitement and sparked a potent offense in Week 1, then was invisible at Green Bay. Finnegan won't back down from a more physically imposing opponent, which Marshall and Cutler can use to their advantage if the blocking holds up.

*Player spotlight - Bears RB Michael Bush: "One injury away" has been an NFL reality for Bush, formerly Darren McFadden's caddy with the Raiders. With Forte on the shelf for about a month, he'll have ample opportunity to take the job and run with it.

*Fast facts: Cutler has been sacked 43 times in his past 16 home games. ... Rams WR Danny Amendola's 12 first-half catches last week tied Reggie Wayne for most ever by a wide receiver.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

The Bears have seen the best and worst of Jay Cutler and their offense in two games. To avoid extremes, offensive coordinator Mike Tice will offer a stripped-down version of the scheme and a double dose of RB Michael Bush to limit Cutler's temptation to throw into tight coverage in third-and-forever situations.

*Our pick: Bears 24-16

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