Earlier this week, I mentioned that the offensive line of the Chicago Bears would dictate whether the team would succeed or fail this season. I also said that some major work would need to happen over this upcoming offseason in order for the offensive line to improve for next season.
Obviously, the work that needs to be done over the offseason can’t be done now, so the Bears will have to find a way to quickly improve the offensive front. This past Monday night, Chicago allowed six sack versus the San Francisco 49ers in a 32-7 mauling. Five-and-a-half of those sacks came from one player, outside linebacker Aldon Smith.
Offensive coordinator Mike Tice, formerly Chicago’s offensive line coach, won’t get much sleep over the next month because the Bears’ next four opponents have ferocious pass rushes.
Chicago’s next matchup will be in Week 12 this coming Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. The Bears will also face the Vikings in Week 14. Minnesota has arguably the best pass rushing defensive end in Jared Allen. Last season, Allen almost broke the single-season sack record, and had a total of 4.5 sacks in the two games against the Bears’ offensive line. The rest of the Vikings’ defensive front has combined for 13.5 sacks this season, and that’s not including the combined 5.5 sacks from their linebackers and defensive backs.
Sandwiched between the two games against the Vikings is the Seattle Seahawks. The one thing that sticks out in my mind when I think about the Seahawks this season is the performance they had against the Green Bay Packers in Week 3. Seattle recorded eight sacks in one-half of football against Green Bay. That dominance has been displayed all season, and the proof of that dominance is shown in their 28 sacks on the year (20.5 of which are from the defensive line).
The final team Chicago will face in this four-game stretch is the much-hated Packers. Needless to say, but every time the Bears face Green Bay, there are always problems in defending their 3-4 defense and complicated blitzing scheme. In Week 2 of this season, difficulty still overwhelmed Chicago, and the Packers sacked the Bears quarterback Jay Cutler seven times. As good of a pass rush as the Vikings and the Seahawks have, Green Bay has the best of the three teams, and are currently second in the league with 33 sacks.
I don’t know about you, but I feel that regardless of who is under center, the Bears’ offensive front will have there hands full, and will potentially decide if Chicago will be a contender this season.
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