The Chicago Bears roll up to the University of Phoenix Stadium this week to face off against the Arizona Cardinals in the first of two must win road games if they are to have any chance of claiming a wild card spot.
Allegedly week 15 against the Green Bay Packers at home, was not a must win game in the eyes of beleaguered Bears’ Head Coach Lovie Smith. Spouting his usual nonsense, Smith asserted that the Bears playoffs have begun this week against the Cardinals.
This week has been frankly a frustrating one, having listened to every piece of analysis possible in regards to Brian Urlacher not caring what fans think etc. it is time for the Bears to actually do the talking on the field for a change.
The Bears’ offense comes up against one of the only teams in the NFL that it can actually keep pace with on the scoreboard, be thankful of small mercies Bears’ fans.
The Cardinals are 1-10 in their last 11 games and across their losses are averaging a meager 9.5points per game. In truth how this team beat the New England Patriots is beyond me.
In what could be one of the only interesting facets of this encounter, WR Brandon Marshall will face up against CB Patrick Peterson in what should be a brutal war of attrition. The Bears really need Marshall to win this match up as he is pretty much the only thing to call home about on offense this season.
There seems to be a perverse irony to fact that both these teams originate historically from Chicago, both have poor offenses and both live and die off the turnover and point scoring production of their respective defenses.
The comparison between these two teams on defense shows you their dependency for turnovers. The Cardinals lead the league in INTs on 22, the Bears are second on 21. Peterson has seven INTs second only to CB Tim Jennings of the Bears.
Effectively turnovers win prizes for these two, so which ever team wins the turnover battle will win this one period.
If the Bears don’t win this game Mike Tice should be immediately fired, along with Smith. Put simply if Jay Cutler can’t roll into Arizona facing up against their 3rd string QB in Ryan Lindley then what are we all doing even following this team?
Tice has to establish the run this week, a concept that seems completely foreign to this guy, who is frankly clueless. Matt Forte has to carry the load after the under utilized Michael Bush had a frustrating season ended when he was placed on the IR with a rib injury.
The Bears are hopeful of the return of Earl Bennett who has under performed this season in the slot; this offense is in desperate need of someone to take advantage of the numbers that Marshall is putting up this season.
When all is said and done I don’t care how beautiful or ugly this one looks as long as the Bears come away with the victory.
Be under no illusions Bears’ fans if the Bears don’t get the job done their season is through and the winds of change will almost certainly have to sweep through the halls of this organization.
In my view because they are sadists and a Chicago sports franchise, they will take a sick pleasure in winning this one, only to lose in week 17 to the Detroit Lions.
My Prediction: Bears 24 – 6 Cardinals