The Arizona Cardinals will go into Sunday’s game not knowing which Chicago Bears team will show up. At one point, the Bears were probably one of the top four teams in the league. Now, they have dropped out of the top ten with no consistency and an outside shot at making the playoffs.
The scariest part about the Bears is QB Jay Cutler: he is unpredictable. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, he has the athletic ability to be successful in his style. He can stretch a defense out running to the sideline and still make the throw because of his great arm strength. He can also stick in the pocket and run on you straight up the field to continue a drive on third down.
The best way to beat Cutler is by being unpredictable on defense. The line needs to run some stunts freeing up lanes to get to Cutler and create pressure in his face while containing the edges. If the Cardinals try to do this straight up it will have the opposite effect. Cutler will be able to see his athletic receivers and he will have the time to get the ball to him.
Time is the biggest enemy for the Cardinals. If they give Cutler enough time he is eventually going to get the ball to one of his receivers. The good news for the Cardinals, the Bears offensive line is not exactly perfect. The Cardinals have the worst offensive line in football, but the Bears are definitely in the bottom third. Not quite as bad as their fans seem to think, but they are not good and it has led to the struggles of RB Matt Forte.
If I were the Bears I would try to run on the Cardinals defense as much as I could. If the Bears can get the Cardinals thinking they can beat them on the run game alone, the passing attack will open up faster than giving a box of chocolates to a fat kid (aka me). Fans are just hoping the Cardinals can play a couple games of playoff spoiler before the season is over.
Follow Kase Brammer on Twitter @KBlive33