Chicago Bears’ Offensive Line Must Keep Jay Cutler Upright in Week 1
The Chicago Bears‘ offense could have a huge day on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. With an offense that is ready to hum with Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, the Bills’ defense has their work cut out for them.
Although the Bears’ offensive stars will receive all the headlines, this game is going to be won in the trenches.
The Bills’ defensive line is excellent at rushing the passer, getting to the quarterback more times than any other team in the AFC. In fact, Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes all registered double-digit sacks and all return on the defensive front. That defensive pressure resulted in plenty of poor decisions from opposing quarterbacks, forcing 23 interceptions, also the most in the AFC.
Despite the outstanding pass defense, the Bills’ rushing defense was in the bottom third in all of the NFL, which if that continues in 2014 will present plenty of opportunities Sunday for Matt Forte. With Forte poised to have a solid game offensively, if the Bears passing attack clicks, they have the potential to put up 30-plus points on Sunday afternoon. But that will all depend on the play of the offensive line.
The game comes down to Jermon Bushrod, Matt Slauson, Roberto Garza, Kyle Long and Jordan Mills. If they give Cutler time to throw, he is going to find his targets down the field and keep the offensive moving up and down the field. However, if they struggle to keep the Bills out of the backfield, Cutler is going to end up on his back, hurry throws and force balls into coverage. That will result in plenty of incompletions and two or three interceptions as well.
The game plan for Marc Trestman should be simple. Give Cutler time to throw. If the Bears’ offensive line controls the line of scrimmage, Forte will have a nice game running the ball and Cutler is going to find his weapons down the field. It should result in an easy victory. If the Bears’ line struggles, they are going to be in for a battle for all 60 minutes.
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