Ten Keys to Victory for the Bears vs. Rams
It is still way too early in the football season to call a game a must-win, but this Sunday's game at Soldier Field is certainly a game the Chicago Bears do not want to lose against the St. Louis Rams. The Bears are more than a touchdown favorite at the time of this article, so I am assuming unless something drastic changes, last Thursday's loss the the Green Bay Packers isn't hurting gamblers' confidence in the Bears. Despite this love, I am not as confident about this Sunday's contest as many of the experts. I feel the Bears should win this game, but I do not think it will be a blowout. I still have some strong concerns about the offensive play-calling and offensive line's stability, and I do not think that gets fixed in one week. Considering before the season started, most experts and fans would have considered the Packers game a loss. Confidence rose a bit after the Bears solid performance on opening day and the Packers struggles at home against the San Francisco 49ers. Despite that confidence, the Packers defeated the Bears 24-13. The Bears had their chances in the game, but seemed to make too many mistakes including the Bears getting dooped on a fake field goal. It was certainly a lowlight for the Bears, but one of those moments you tip your cap to the other team. It just stings because the Bears special teams have always been one of their stronger units under head coach Lovie Smith. With that, here are my ten keys to the Bears winning this Sunday. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Follow me on Twitter @chicagobearjew.
Michael Bush needs to run the football. With Matt Forte's status up in the air, Bush will get the bulk of th carries. He needs to run the ball hard and keep the clock moving.
Chilo Rachal is being called upon to help shore up the offensive line replacing Chris Spencer at the left guard position. Playing next to the maligned J'Marcus Webb, Rachal needs to offer him support.
The Bears offensive game plan for the Packers was terrible. Instead of running the football, the Bears tried to establish the pass early. Offensive coordinator Mike Tice needs to establish the running game. If the Bears go back to throwing the football early, too many bad things can and will happen. Please, please, please run the darn football.
Jay Cutler had a bad game against he Packers. We all know about his sideline behavior, but his throws and decision making weren't up to par either. Cutler has been a front-runner throughout his career and usually has his best games against sub-par teams. Considering the Rams aren't a strong team, this should be a good opportunity for Cutler to improve his accuracy and decision making. Sooner or later, he has to take some of the blame for his problems and try to clean up his mistakes.
It would be nice to see Devin Hester break a return for a touchdown. He is often times the spark this team needs. Let's hope it comes this Sunday.
Shea McClellin has made some plays. He also has struggled. I like some of the things I see out of this kid, so it would be nice this Sunday to see him have a strong game against a mediocre offensive line. He will get better with experience, and the more chances he has to be successful the better he will be down the road.
The Bears need to make Sam Bradford beat them on Sunday. With running back Steven Jackson's status up-in-the-air at this point with an injured groin, this game needs to be decided on Bradford's arm.
The Bears special teams failed them last Thursday on the fake field goal by the Packers. This cannot happen again if the Bears hope to have a strong season. They need to open up more opportunities in the return game and continue to cover well on kickoffs and punts.
Brandon Marshall had a terrible game last Thursday. I am still angry over his dropped touchdown pass. He needs to play like a number one wide receiver. He certainly can talk like one, now it is time to back it up.
I am not a fan of coaches acting like raving maniacs on the field. That being said, two calls in last Thursday's game really stand out. When the Bears were called for having 12 guys on the field or the 15-yard penalty on Gabe Carimi, I felt that even a bit of a response from the head coach was warranted. Again, I don't need him getting all Mike Ditka on us, but it would be nice for Smith to show us a bit more than just a disappointed look.