Chicago Bears: Five Things To Watch this Sunday vs. St. Louis Rams
- Which Jay Cutler will we see Sunday?
Cutler lit it up in the week one match-up against the Indianapolis Colts, but against the Green Bay Packers in week two look like a disaster. After taking a beating from local to national media for most of this week, there’s not a player in the league that needs a bounce back game more than Cutler.
Against an aggressive Rams defense, it won’t be easy but the Bears need a bounce back game from Cutler to take the heat off him. A solid performance from Cutler along with a win should give the Bears good momentum going into the Monday Night game against the Dallas Cowboys.
- How will the offensive line respond after a humiliating performance against the Packers?
The Bears offensive line surrendered seven sacks against the Packers; the Rams are tied for 27th in sacks, but do have a talented defensive line. The Bears bookend tackle’s J’Marcus Webb and Gabe Carimi will have their hands full with defensive end’s Chris Long and Robert Quinn.
The Rams are not an exotic blitzing team mainly because they lack the personnel to do it. If the Bears can take care of the Rams front four, they should give Cutler enough time to go through his progression and find the open WR.
- Can the Bears DE’s exploit the Left Tackle position of the Rams?
The Rams starting LT Rodger Saffold is out for Sunday’s game and newly acquire Wayne Hunter is coming into the game banged up. The Bears can line up various DE’s against Hunter to get pressure. For example, on passing situations the Bears can line Julius Peppers inside against the Rams inexperience interior line, while lining Shea McClellin against Hunter.
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli showed these past two weeks that he’s comfortable putting his best pass rusher inside, and trusting his young guys Corey Wootton and McClellin against the opposing QB’s blindside protectors. Expect to see this look throughout the game.
- Alshon Jeffery vs. Janoris Jenkins round two
Jeffery and Jenkins have a long history together, stemming from their battles when both guys were in the SEC. They had some fierce battles back then, and the match-up this Sunday should be fun to watch. Both players are very talented and have gotten off to great starts so far in their careers.
Although Jeffery has the size advantage, it’s going to be a tough battle against Jenkins. However, it is critical for Jeffery to win that match-up assuming Marshall gets bracket coverage.
- Will the Rams use the same two-man coverage the Packers used against Brandon Marshall?
It will be interesting to see if the Rams use the two-man coverage look on Marshall, considering that the Rams have a lockdown corner in Cortland Finnegan. The Packers successfully took Marshall out of the game with this coverage look, but a player like Finnegan might prefer to line up against Marshall one-on-one.
Bears fans hope this is the case, because in my opinion Marshall has the advantage if a safety is not blanketing him.