Plenty of things will have to go the Bears' way as they travel to St. Louis to battle the Rams (4-6) on Sunday afternoon.
Chicago (6-4) will play on the round in four of their next five outings including at the Edward Jones Dome this week.
The good news is that the Rams don't look too good on paper.
The St. Louis offense ranks 27th in the NFL averaging just over 315 total yards per game and 22 points per game. Their defense ranks 19th ,while allowing around 23 points per game.
The Bears matchup well with the Kellen Clemens led Rams. Clemens has started three games since Sam Bradford was lost for the season.
The veteran has tossed three touchdowns compared to two interceptions. In his last start in Week 10 against the Colts, he played very well completing nine of 16 passes for a season-high 247 yards and two touchdowns.
He completed a game-high 81 yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin as the West Virginia product totaled three scores on the night.
Austin should be given plenty of opportunities this week against a weak Bears defense. However, Chicago has held opponents to 20 points or less in each of their three games, two of them wins.
It will be important for the Bears to play sound defense or the speedy receiving core of the Rams could burn them a ton.
Here are three things the Bears need to do in order to win their seventh game of the season on Sunday.
Kyle Long Must Slow Down His Brother
Bears rookie right guard Kyle Long will be playing in his first ever game against his brother Chris Long, who is a stud along the Rams' defensive line. Kyle will be tasked with blocking Chris. Chris is second on the team with 6.5 sacks along with 26 tackles, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. The Bears' offense line has been one of the best this season allowing only 16 sacks. Josh McCown has been sacked five times in his two starts plus two relief appearances for Jay Cutler. This will be a huge test for the rookie Long, who is matching up against one of the best young defensive lineman. It should be fun to watch the brothers battle it out.
Get Black Unicorn More Involved
After being targeted 14 times in his previous two games, Martellus Bennett caught both of his targets in the big 23-20 win over Baltimore. He made a clutch 43-yard snag in overtime that propelled the Bears to victory. The more you get him the ball, the better this offense plays. It will open things up including play action and the screen game with Matt Forte or Brandon Marshall. Expect Bennett to have his biggest game of the season against a vulnerable Rams pass defense. Plus his ankle is completely healthy.
Pass Rush Needs To Be There Again
The Bears pass defense has generated eight sacks over the last three weeks. The problem is they recorded zero sacks against Detroit in Week 10. They bounced back last week with a three sack performance led by veteran Julius Peppers and his two sacks. The pass rush has to be there on Sunday in St. Louis. Clemens is not a very good quarterback especially when facing pressure. The Rams offensive line has been solid as of late opening things up for Clemens and the running game led by rookie Zac Stacy. Returning is Shea McClellin who posted a career-high three sacks against the Packers in Week Nine, but has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. Rookie David Bass and journeyman Cheta Ozougwu should see plenty of snaps in the rotation as they've clearly earned them. Corey Wootton will have to play big at defensive tackle with Stephen Paea (toe) most likely out.
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Filed under: Keys To The Game