Going into a Week 7 matchup against the Washington Redskins, the Chicago Bears are in the hunt for the top spot in the NFC North, with a record of 4-2 (with the Detroit Lions currently holding the tie-breaker). For a team headed by a first-year coach in Marc Trestman, and a veteran defensive unit that forces turnovers like Payton Manning compiles regular season passing and touchdown records, this team could easily be at or under .500, based on some of the Bears’ early game performances. However, that aforementioned first-year NFL head coach and formidable defense has kept the team in all but one of the Bears’ first six games.
For this weeks game at Washington, the Bears have to take advantage of plays on both sides of the ball in order to secure a win. Defensively, the game plan is to keep second year quarterback Robert Griffin III in check, by forcing him to beat them from within the pocket. Before last Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, Griffin didn’t quite appear to be himself, but the threat of him getting to the edge on the read option seems more likely after (even in a loss) he gained 77 yards off of nine carries. So, the idea of containing Griffin is easier said than done, and with a bombed out and depleted defensive line, Mel Tucker might find himself calling more blitzes involving the linebackers and defensive backs on Sunday.
Offensively, the Bears need to keep it simple. Run the ball with Matt Forte, and get Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett involved early on with some quick slants and comeback routes. For the revamped offensive line, keep doing what you’re doing, which means playing nasty with a chip on the shoulder. At this point in the season, that has kept the pocket clean for the most part for Jay Cutler. Speaking of Cutler, as long as he can step up in the pocket and not throw balls into windows that are too tight even for a gunslinger like Bret Farve, he should have a good game, which will result in a road win for the still under construction Bears team.