After watching one of the most disappointing performances in recent memory, the Bears need to bounce back in a major way against the Broncos.
On paper, when you look at the rosters, the Bears have too much star power, speed and discipline on defense to allow Tim Tebow and his disciples to gallop all over them. Since the melt down against the Lions on Monday Night, the Bears run defense has been playing at a Monster of the Midway-type level by allowing only 74 yards a game. They will have to continue to play at a high level against the Broncos' number one rank rushing attack.
While we're all confident in the defense, the real concern is what the Bears can do against the Broncos' defense. Against the Chiefs, fans are reeling over the anemic showing against the Chiefs.
Caleb Hanie was just bad. He overshot wide open receivers and was pressured throughout the entire game. It wasn't just his fault, it was everyone's fault. All three phases failed to make plays.
During the five game win streak, the Bears' offensive line seemed to finally hit their stride. Against the Chiefs' porous pass rush that was ranked last in the league with 13 sacks for the season, the Bears gave up 7 sacks. You would think Derrick Thomas-caliber pass rushers were lining up against them. Lance Louis was responsible for giving up five sacks. It seemed like he was still gassed from his hustle play last week against the Raiders.
If the Bears struggled against an underachieving Chiefs front seven, we can only imagine how the o-line will perform against Elvis Dummervil and rookie standout Von Miller.
The Broncos' defense is only ranked 24th in overall defense, 23rd in passing and 20th in rushing yards allowed. Don't be fooled by the rankings because they still have enough playmakers to make a difference.
The Bears need this game. They need to separate themselves from an increasingly cloudy playoff picture. They need to capitalize on the breaks they're given. Despite the loss last week, they didn't lose their position as the fifth seed in the playoffs race and were lucky to not be on the outside looking in with the Lions, Falcons, Cowboys, and Giants losing.
This week (or ever), you can't count that on happening again. The Lions play the Vikings at Detroit; the Falcons play at the Panthers; and the Giants play the Cowboys. If all else fails, let's hope the Lions, Falcons and the Cowboys lose.
If they win and stop Tebow and limit mistakes on offense, the 4th Phase can again feel good about the team and their chances at the playoffs. If they lose, expect the city to be on edge.