In the words of the great (and crazy) Terrell Owens, “Getcha' popcorn ready,” because the blockbuster of the year is about to begin. Coming this Sunday to an NFL ticket near you, “The #CuttyComeback.”
“Magnificent!” “Unstoppable!” say reviewers everywhere. “The best comeback story of the year!” proclaim the fans. This already critically acclaimed future blockbuster should take the world by storm.
Ah . . . doesn't it just feel good to be back? No more boring baseball talk. No more depressing Derrick Rose ACL recovery discussions. It’s FOOTBALL Season! Which also means Doug and O’B having very fiery (FIRE AND PASSION) post game shows no matter what the case.
So, fire and passion in mind, let’s take a look at the Bears’ opponent this Sunday.
The Colts, who previously ran a Cover-2 based, 4-3 defense, are now switching to a 3-4. It’s no secret that the Bears’ offense has had loads of trouble with 3-4 defenses in the past. It seems that their biggest breakdowns, even going back to the Grossman era, come when playing against that style of defense.
Now, while the Colts went 2-14 last year, I wouldn't take that defense lightly. With Freeney and Mathis now playing the blitzing linebacker role, I would imagine they would be just as productive, despite their ages.
Honestly, though, how hard is it to get by J'Marcus Webb for someone like Freeney? Yeah, that's what I was thinking . . .
Andrew Luck is the cleanest rookie quarterback to come into the league in a very long time. He will be no average QB. The past few years in the NFL, rookie quarterbacks have thrived when thrust into the role immediately. Luck is as smart as anyone, and he can make all the throws. The Bears need to make every window as small as possible vs. the rookie.
The Bears are heading into this game with question marks on defense.
Chris Conte is coming off a shoulder injury, and he seems to lack an ability to stay healthy, just like every other safety, besides Craig Steltz, on this roster. And what if Steltz has to step in and play Sunday? That's another liability for the Bears. He knows the system better than any safety on the roster, but he lacks the athleticism to play the position well.
On top of that, obviously, there is the Brian Urlacher concern.
Just how long will Urlacher play in this game? Lovie needs to limit his playing time if at all possible, especially because of the quick turn around vs. the Packers next Thursday night. Nick Roach seemed to play alright for the most part in preseason, and you might as well work him into the mix during the regular season in a game that the Bears should win easily.
Brandon Marshall absolutely killed the Colts the last time he played them. He recorded 21 receptions, all of which were thrown by Jay Cutler. Now, I highly doubt he pulls that off this game, considering he will likely be double teamed from the start. But I don't quite know if that will stop him. Marshall is such a game changer I can’t put it past him.
What to Watch for
Brian Urlacher – I have my doubts that he won’t be able to move quite like he did. We need to see how his change of direction is. But his presence alone will dictate what the offense does, for now. It will be interesting to see if Lovie tries to limit the number of snaps he receives.
Nick Roach needs to get worked into the lineup for the worst case scenario down the road. Just how good of condition is he actually in right now? Football isn’t quite the right sport to come into not being in perfect condition to play. I don't like that Urlacher is playing at all, and feel that he should be limited with the number of snaps he plays at the very least.
He hasn't tackled anyone since the final game of 2011.
The entire offensive line – In the preseason, this group couldn't run block to save their lives. Can this unit be okay enough to run the ball? If the Bears can get the run game going, ESPECIALLY with the talent this offense now has all over the place, they should wreck the Colts . . . dominantly.
The Defensive Tackles – Will Henry Melton explode and get two sacks this game, then disappear for a few weeks? Or will he finally get consistent?
How to handle Luck – I want to see how they rattle the rookie. It usually takes a quarter for a rookie quarterback’s nerves to calm. Do they just try to make windows to throw through incredible small, or do they bring the house and see if he can handle the pressure? Well, the Bears don't blitz well so hopefully they don't do that.
Gabe Carimi – How will he look? Mike Tice said they might have to spell Carimi at times, because he is not fully back from his knee procedures. That is a major concern for me. He has to be good. If you don't have to worry about helping Carimi it will open them up to strictly helping Webb. And he needs it.