Chicago Bears-Pittsburgh Steelers Week 3 Preview: Who Has the Advantage?
Chicago Bears-Pittsburgh Steelers: Who Has the Advantage?
This Sunday night, the Chicago Bears will travel to the Steel City in hopes of staying undefeated when they face off against the winless Pittsburgh Steelers. This game serves to be a close one, even though it may not appear that way on paper.
The Bears (2-0) have started the regular season with two come-from-behind home victories, while the Steelers (0-2) have come up short in two heartbreaking defeats due to putrid play.
For Chicago, things seem to be clicking on the offensive side of the ball under the guidance of new head coach Marc Trestman. Quarterback Jay Cutler has shown great poise late in the fourth quarter of the Bears’ first two games and has spread the ball much more than he did in 2012. Defensively, Chicago is still trying to find their aggressive pass rush from last season, but they are still showing their ball-hawking demeanor.
As for Pittsburgh’s defense, they are still showing dominance but continue to lack in the takeaways department. However, the Steelers defense seems to be good enough to keep them in games. Unfortunately, their offense hasn’t been able to be a suitable complement. Pittsburgh has one of the worst running games in the league at this point in the season, and their offensive line appears to be a liability.
The last time these two teams met was at Soldier Field during Week 2 of the 2009 season, with the Bears prevailing by the score of 17-14. The meeting preceding this one was in Week 14 of 2005 in Pittsburgh, with the Steelers coming out on top 21-9. This victory was the start of a winning streak that led Pittsburgh to becoming world champions in Super Bowl XL.
That 2005 Steelers team was much better than the team that Pittsburgh has now. I’m sure many Steelers fans will want a win over the Bears to be the catalyst for another championship run. Looking at the current status of Pittsburgh, the chance of that happening is virtually impossible. However, they do have a slightly better chance of simply getting their first win of the 2013 against Chicago.
Let’s take a look and see just how much of a chance the Steelers have against the Bears in this Sunday night showdown.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+
Steelers' Pass Offense versus Bears' Pass Defense
The Bears’ pass rush still has a question mark on their back. Chicago’s defensive front has generated only two sacks in two games. However, the Bears’ secondary, led by Pro Bowlers Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, will make it hard for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of his arsenal.
Steelers' Run Offense versus Bears' Run Defense
After two weeks of play in the regular season, there are five quarterbacks that have rushed for more yards than the Steelers have as a team. One would think that it can’t get any worse than what it is in Pittsburgh’s backfield. Even with an improvement, Bears linebacker Lance Briggs and the rest of Chicago’s front seven will cause more nightmares for the Steelers’ ground attack.
Bears' Pass Offense versus Steelers' Pass Defense
Pittsburgh’s ninth-ranked pass defense just might give Chicago’s passing game some problems. However, the Steelers are rotating inexperienced inside linebackers Kion Wilson and Vince Williams. Both had problems with Cincinnati Bengals tight ends Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert in Week 2 and will probably have the same dilemma with Bears tight end Martellus Bennett.
Bears' Run Offense versus Steelers' Run Defense
After a modest Week 1 showing, Bears running back Matt Forte looked much better carrying the rock in Week 2. He also looked good in the passing game. Pittsburgh is currently tied for 24th in the NFL in run defense, giving up an average of 119.5 yards per game. Forte just might get his first 100-yard game of the season.
The Steelers seemed to have corrected some things on special teams last week, a phase of their game that was in dire need of retooling since the preseason. Even with their recent improvement, the Bears’ special teams unit just may be too much to handle. Chicago has had one of the best special teams groups in recent history. Return specialist Devin Hester was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after racking up 249 return yards last week and could be the X-factor in this game.
So far for Chicago, things seem to be going well for Trestman and his team. In the short amount of time that he’s spent in the Windy City, his the Bears seem to be rolling along and gradually improving at the same time. As for Pittsburgh, head coach Mike Tomlin has his hands full. And to make matters worse, Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley reportedly had a heated exchange with wide receiver Antonio Brown in regards to not getting enough balls thrown his way last week. Too much chaos amongst the ranks in the Steel City.