Chicago Bears: 5 Things to Watch Against the Jacksonville Jaguars
Chicago Bears: Five Things You Need to Watch against Jaguars
The 3-1 Chicago Bears will take on the 1-3 Jacksonville Jaguars this up-coming Sunday. Coming off an impressive win against the Dallas Cowboys, the Bears hope to go 4-1 heading into the bye week.
On defense, The Bears will have its hands full against last year leading rusher Maurice Jones-Drew. Once again, Jones-Drew is the only legit threat on the Jaguars offense this season as he has rushed for 352 yards on 72 carries, and one touchdown. I’m sure the message on the blackboard in the defensive film room is Stop number 32.
If the Bears defense somehow does that, they put the game in Blaine Gabbert hands. Yes Gabbert has done a good job of taking care of the football, but his 5.8 yards per completion is worst in the league.
The offensive line for the Jaguars hasn’t help not one bit either, allowing 12 sacks on the young quarterback. Justin Blackmon like most first year Wide Receivers has struggle, and the veterans WR’s on the team haven’t contribute much thus far this season.
On offense, the team won’t be challenge much by their defense on the ground or through the air. The team is rank 32nd in points, 32nd in total yards, and 21st in passing offense.
On the other hand that can’t be taken for granted, because there are still some good players on that side of the football in linebacker Paul Posluszny, defensive end Jeremy Mincey, cornerback Rashean Mathis.
From the Bears defensive approach against Jones-Drew to if Davis can capitalize off his previous performance, here’s five things you need to watch Sunday in Jacksonville.
Can the Bears Successfully Contain Maurice Jones-Drew for the Whole Game?
With Jones-Drew being the one offensive weapon on the Jaguars offense that can hurt you, you can expect the Bears to play much Cover-1 until the Jaguars are one dimensional. The wild card in this particular match-up will be if the Jaguars offensive line can exploit Brian Urlacher, who has been less than mobile through the four weeks of the season.
The Bears had success against the Cowboys’ Demarco Murray, but Jones-Drew is a different animal.
Can the Run Game Breakthrough Against a Weaker Opponent?
The Bears running game has been less than stellar throughout the first four games of the season. Matt Forte is recovering well from an ankle injury and will be available this Sunday; could this be a game where he has his best game of the season? The reason I say this is because the Jaguars rush defense is one of the worst in the league (rank 30th).
This is a game where the ground game could be the driving force to a Bears victory, as Forte and Michael Bush could be due for big games.
Will we see a Consistent Jay Cutler?
Cutler played one of his best games of his career against the Cowboys; what can he do for an encore? Bears fans are hoping that Cutler builds off that game and become a more consistent quarterback. We have seen stretches where Cutler consistently each week put up a solid performance, but we also saw Cutler can go on a stretch where he’s putting up duds.
Against the Jaguars secondary it is not going to be an easy task, but at the same time it’s not going to be an extreme tough one. We should expect a solid a solid performance from Cutler Sunday.
Can the Secondary Bait Blaine Gabbert into Some Mistakes?
Gabbert has been careful with the football this season, throwing five touchdowns to one interception. The one way the Bears know that they can get turnovers against a QB that is protective with the football is to consistently put pressure on him and force him to make ill-advised throws. As I’ve said in the introduction, the Jaguars don’t pass protect well, and it’s well documented that Gabbert doesn’t handle pressure well.
If the Bears can’t stop Jones-Drew, then they will have their hands full with Gabbert in the passing game. The Bears want to force Gabbert to try to beat them through the air.
Will Kellen Davis Continue the Momentum?
We finally saw the potential of Davis this past Monday night against the Cowboys. The big tight-end, made his presence felt not only in the short-to-intermediate game, but also down field. Davis only got six catches on the season, but his average yards per reception is at an eye popping 17.2.
Davis could potentially make his presence felt in the play action game if the Bears can successfully establish a ground attack. It will be interesting to see what Davis can do with good momentum moving forward.