With the conclusion of the insufferable preseason shortly at hand, Chicago Bears fans can turn their attention towards the regular season. While it has been nice watching the much improved offense in action, it is hard to take a lot away from these preseason match ups. Nothing is really game planned and the coaches are more or less out there just to see how players are developing.
With the regular season now a reality, it is time to look at some of the big match-ups the Bears are going to face this season. It is fairly probable that both NFC wild card contenders could come from the old Black and Blue in 2012 which makes the NFC North one of, if not THE, best conference in all of football this season. That being said, it is obvious that all divisional games are going to carry a lot of pressure throughout all of 2012. Therefore, let’s take a look at a few of the big match ups outside the division.
Dallas Cowboys - Monday, October 1 – 8:30pm EST
For whatever reason, America loves the Cowboys. I really have no idea why. What is to love about a mediocre team that constantly disappoints? I don’t know how you can call this ‘America’s Team’. They were 8-8 last year and are relying on a wide receiver that is so dumb the owner had to give him a special set of rules to live his life by. The only thing the Cowboys really have going for them is they reside in the best stadium ever conceived for playing X-Box in.
I don’t see Tony Romo out running Julius Peppers and I don’t see fat Rob Ryan’s defense being able to stop the Jay Cutler – Brandon Marshall juggernaut. With this game being on Monday Night Football, the Bears will show the world what they are truly made of.
Houston Texans - Sunday, November 11 – 8:20pm EST
The Houston Texans are a team I have been worried about playing against since the Bears schedule came out. Mario Williams leaving for the Buffalo Bills helps to calm my nerves a bit but the thought of Andre Johnson hauling in 250 yards keeps me up at night. The Bears simply do not possess enough talent in the secondary to shut this down. Couple that with Lovie Smith’s consistent love for the zone defense and you could see a career day for both Johnson and quarterback Matt Schaub.
If the Bears are going to pull this one off, they will need to rely on their offense. If Matt Forte can avoid Brian Cushing, the Bears should be able to rack up some solid yards and let Michael Bush pound them into the pay dirt.
San Francisco 49ers - Monday, November 19 – 8:30pm EST
Overall, the Bears have a pretty easy schedule outside the NFC North so I was hard pressed to add the Niners to this list. To be honest, I am not totally sold on them. I know they played in the NFC Championship game last season, but I just don’t see the talent on that team that make them a huge threat. I think the offense has an incredibly mediocre quarterback in Alex Smith, an aging, ineffective running back in Frank Gore and a wide receiver set that reminds me of the Bears’ last year.
The Niners defense is a solid unit, however. In order to win this game, the defense will have to create turnovers by creating havoc in the offensive backfield. Smith isn’t polished enough to make sound decisions on the run and will be tossing up softballs right into Charles Tillman’s hands. I definitely see this one going in the Bears favor.
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