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NFL Chicago BearsSt Louis Rams

Rams vs. Bears NFL Week 3 Preview

Jay Cutler, J'Marcus Webb

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Week three figures to be another stern test for the upstart St. Louis Rams as they travel to face the Chicago Bears on Sunday. Both teams may be 1-1 heading into the tilt, but the there was a chasm between the expectations for the two sides coming into the 2012 season. There will be a number of key areas to focus on for the Rams if they hope to be competitive for four quarters on Sunday.

PASS RUSH

The turmoil surrounding the Bears’ spat between offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb and quarterback Jay Cutler has been highly criticized all week long. There is some real dissention between the offensive line for Chicago and the quarterback they are trying to protect. If the Rams can get some early heat on Cutler with Chris Long and Robert Quinn, the jeers from the crowd could force some drastic changes.

OFFENSIVE LINE

For the Rams, their linemen have been a revolving door thus far with only Harvey Dahl remaining out of the week one starters. Still they have managed to keep Sam Bradford in good shape through two games and against Julius Peppers they will have a tall order this week as well. Last week’s game was evidence of what can happen if Bradford has time as he hooked up with Danny Amendola 15 times in the game. More of the same would be a definite positive from the Rams five in the trenches this week.

INJURIES

Both sides are nursing their fair share of ailments coming into this game and just who suits up and who doesn’t could go a long way in determining the outcome. Bears running back Matt Forte has been slowed by an ankle while Rams ball carrier Steven Jackson has a groin issue. A consistent running game is the key to slowing down a pass rush and giving offensive lines a chance to just block straight ahead.

While the injury news remains up in the air, the Rams plan to get a win is easy to depict. These three facets will likely dictate who wins and who loses on Sunday. The Rams-Bears battle figures to be a real throwback to a game won and lost by the big uglies down in the trenches.

Follow Anthony Blake on Twitter @AnthonyMBlake or on Facebook at Anthony Mizarkus Blake