Chicago vs. Pittsburgh

We're moving the weekly Bears game pick to Thursday morning on a permanent basis.  It allows a solid day for debating the upcoming week's ballgame and lets me use Friday and Saturday to update whatever news might be pertinent.  Off we go...

Your 2009 Chicago Bears
over
Pittsburgh Steelers
Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?
  • I always like the Chicago Bears.
  • There is no possible way Ron Turner and the offensive staff are expecting to successfully block the best pass rush in the game.  With Matt Forte and Greg Olsen as superior underneath options, one hopes that we'll see an extensive array of checkdowns and screens to keep the linebackers off the attack.
  • One area in which the Bears' passing game did not struggle Sunday night was on go routes down the sidelines and - without Troy Polamalu - that is where the Steelers defense must be attacked.  Jay Cutler, even on an off night, had an un-Bears like six plays of over 20 yards.
  • The Steelers will move the ball down the field but their inability to find a consistent run game will lead to settling for field goals.  I think they kick 4.
  • Adewale Ogunleye continues his march to one last big-time contract by getting Big Ben early and Lovie mixes in some well-times blitzes late to keep the Steelers punting.
  • Brad Maynard was terrific last week and Robbie Gould is the best around.  In a game like this, they'll make the difference.
  • Final reason: the fans.  I love Chicago Bears fans but they often have a penchant for being whiny boo-hounds, more interested in misery than victory.  That changes Sunday.  The fans must come out and inspire this club with unabashed confidence in the quarterback and support for the new linebacking corps.  Let this team know that no amount of Rick Morrissey nonsense and Mike Martz hypocrisy will quell your enthusiasm for a good football team.

Chicago Bears 20, Pittsburgh Steelers 19

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  • if start off strong theyll be cheering like hes Sid Luckman if not, booing like hes grossman. Cutler needs to take over the first quarter otherwise the help from the fans will be negligable

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    If the fans boo him in his first home game, no matter how bad he plays, I will be very, very disappointed.

  • In reply to BearDown1982:

    So you're saying if Cutler throws another 4 INT's, you'll be disappointed if you hear boos? Surely you're not serious. If that happens again he'll deserve a boo more than any Bears QB before him. This is coming from a Rex Grossman fan.

  • In reply to BearDown1982:

    The Trib is reporting that Zack Bowman will start on Sunday. That's probably a good decision.

  • In reply to BearDown1982:

    Agreed.

  • In reply to BearDown1982:

    I will be surrounded by Steelers fans Sunday, but do I care?

    HELL NO!!

    Sure, I was disappointed with the Lambeau Loss, but when has any Bears fan been happy when that happens? Let it go, we'll get them later in the season. Get off their backs and support the team. GO BEARS!!

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    Sad, but true, Zisk. There are many piss-poor Bears fans to be sure.

    Your second bullet, Jeff, brings to mind a quote attributed to HL Mencken. I paraphrase to adapt it here "no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of Ron Turner". Trust me, I'd love to be wrong on this one, but...

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    This is a winnable game. Here's hoping the Bears deliver.

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    Hoping to see an improvement from the savior Cutler. I agree with Craig this is a game we can win.

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    This article kind of says it all for me right now.

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/hayes/1775358,CST-SPT-neil17.article

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    Having some Steeler fans over to the house for firehouse chili and a beat down here in VA on Sunday. Hope Jay can hear me cheer from all the way out here.

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    "often have a penchant for being whiny boo-hounds, more interested in misery than victory". This sounds like more of a Cubs fan to me. :P Sorry, I'm a Southsider I couldn't resist.

    Anyway, The key to Sunday is our pass rush. We have to get to Big Ben. If we give him too much time we'll be toasted by the stupid cover 2.

    I'm not worried about the offense, except for the line. If they let Jay continuely scramble for his life or don't open the holes for Forte we'll be the ones settling for fieldgoals.

    BEAR DOWN!!!

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    I will be there, if anyone boo's I will politely ask them to shut up or leave. Thats ridiculous.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    If you gave me a suggestion as to how to act after I paid $100 for a seat to watch a bunch of millionaires play a game I would ignore you. If you asked again I'd urinate in your beer on the sly. Just saying, get off your high horse. Expecting people to never boo at a game?

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    This is indeed a winnable game. The Steelers are the champs, but shut down the pass and you shut down the Steelers offense. Blitz should be the word of the day on defense...and creative blitzes, with Defensive Ends falling back into the flat and linebackers rushing the Quarterback. Pressure those assholes like they've never been pressured before.

    The Secondary stinks, so play to your strengths (and Pittsburgh's weaknesses)...I consider the defense victorious if they get at least 4 sacks, 6 knock-downs, and 12 hurries, and allowing less than 21 points, because the Steelers strategy going into this game is to hammer our Corners and Safeties through the air. High expectations perhaps, but that's what is going to win this division.

    Our team has dug themselves into a hole very early in the season. They need to consider this game a playoff game, because if they lose this they risk going 2 game behind the division leaders. And they are going into Seattle next week against a revamped Seahawks team (playing the Rams, however, is NOT a true test for a team). A 0-3 start would cripple this organizations playoff aspirations.

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    Last week the RBs and TEs were effectively taken out of the game. This week, that can't happen. Green Bay limited Greg Olsen last weekend by playing nickle coverage and having their best CB shadow him all over the field. What do you do when a team is playing nickle against you? You run the ball right at them. Why Ron Turner continued to pass against what was clearly a pass defense I don't understand - especially with this Forte guy the Bears have in their backfield. The winner of this game will most likely be the team who limits their mistakes (penalties and turnovers) and establishes the run to open up the PA passing game.

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    Well, the booing thing I can see really. If he throws 3 more picks in the first half, I would expect the boo-birds, hell I'd be one of them if I went. Yes, he is just starting in THIS offense but he has brought this somewhat on himself. He demanded a trade for being slighted, he got that trade; and we gave up 2 first round picks, a 3rd round pick, and an avg NFL QB to get him. The expectation is he should be playing better than a rookie and much better than Orton, Im pretty sure a rook doesn't throw 7 picks in 6 quarters, in fact he is already 3 up on the Jets rook and 1 up on the Lions and I don't think Orton ever threw 4 picks in a game; so yea I would hope he gets booed if he plays no better than he did against GB. And yay he threw 6 plays for over 20 yards which converted to how many points....

    Realistically I am going to say game 1 was a shaking out the cobwebbs game and give him a clean slate to some degree unless he keeps that crap up. I think he and his receivers learned from that game and things will look up from here. I expect Tommie Harris to shine this game. Pitt has 2 new guards and if he cant rock them, it will get nothing but harder as the year goes on. I predict

    Bears 34
    Pitt 23

    with the Bears leading late by 4 and Pitt driving but the D gets back on the takeaway trail and takes it back for a score.

    I really hope Turner uses the run and screen game to wear them out and suck them in, to set Jay up for later instead of vice-versa like he tried at Lambeau.

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    Thursday history lesson #1:

    I'm sure you're heard/read AD NAUSEUM that when Urlacher missed 7 games in '04 the Bears went 0-7! OH N000!. Not only that, his replacement in those games was HUNTER HILLENMEYER!ARGH! WE'RE DOOMED!!! Doesn't sound too promising, does it?

    (Cue Lee Corso): "Not so fast, my friends"

    Let's look behind the numbers. The Bears were 5-11 that year. It was Lovie's first year and he was still picking through the wreackage that was the Dick Jauron regime. Examples: David Terrell was still on the roster. Paul "The Spinner" Edinger was still doing the placekicking.

    Did the Bears lose games because Urlacher missed significant time?
    No doubt. He was in his PRIME. However, don't you think the VAUNTED QB trio of Chad Hutchinson-Craig Krenzel-Jonathon Quinn had a LOT to do with those 7 losses?

    Thursday history lesson #2:

    October 21, 2007

    Pittsburgh 28 at Denver 31

    Jay Cutler: 22 of 29 for 248 yards 3 TDs and 2 interceptions.

    And THAT Steeler team was coached by Mike Tomlin and their roster included James Harrison, James Farrior and Troy Polomalu.

    Established pessimist that I am, nevertheless, I think he Steelers CAN be had this weekend.

    Put the same kind of heat on Big Ben AT HOME in Soldier Field that they brough to bear on Mr.Rogers in his neighborhood and good things will happen.

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    Addendum: Hillenmeyer was a ROOKIE in '04.

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    I was wondering where the run game was in the first half was too. I could have sworn that Lovie says they get off the bus running. Or was it they left the bus engine running...I don't remember. Anyway go back to what works, and keep the pressure off Cutler till things start to open up for the pass.

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    Ha! Vaunted QB Trio! I love it, Al. Great points as always.

  • In reply to luftwaffle:

    Actually Url ftw, I think I can remember a performance of Kyle's as a rook against the Bungles in '05 when he threw five picks- 4 in the 1st half of play. But I'm sure our boy Kyle chooses to forget that one.

  • In reply to bnjrmyn:

    Well your probably right but:
    A.) We didn't trade away that KO we traded away the 08 KO and he didn't throw 4 picks in a game...
    B.) Jay Cutler was not a rookie emergency QB forced to start due to multiple injuries, he was the planned starter since OTAs; I think the expectations for performance are a little higher for Jay.

  • In reply to bnjrmyn:

    I'm afraid too much is being made of this game. They could start 1-4 and still finish 11-5. Obviously it's going to take time for Cutler to get used to his receivers. We're used to checkdown QBs who go long every now and then just to stretch the defense - without purpose. Plus they were not expected to move out and make something happen under pressure. But Cutler can - and so the receivers have to play smarter. That said - Cutler was clearly rattled and hyper in the first half, and he has to start the game under control.

    Chicago fans are used to things not going well. There is a real underpoken fear that either Cutler's Pro Bowl year was a fluke (or made by his receivers) or Chicago coaches will ruin him. I do know this - if Cutler does poorly, There Will Be Boos. But they will be a release of this fears, not necessarily directed personally at Jay.

  • In reply to bnjrmyn:

    Perno-

    I didnt say they couldnt boo at the game. Just dont boo Cutler....yet.

    Paying $100 isnt an excuse to be stupid.

  • In reply to bnjrmyn:

    Good points, FTW. And like you, I am far from an Orton-hater. But in his preseason debut(I know, fuckin preseason...) 08 Kyle did put up 3 picks in the 1st half. I know it doesn't count, just sayin.

    Sorry, I'll let it go. Guess I'm just tryin to say anyone can have a stinker. I think everyone's just making a big deal cuz it was our first game.

    It's just funny because like the Buffalo preseason game, when I saw the 1st half in cheeseland, I thought to myself 'Hey, Cutty's really starting to look like a Bear QB'.

    He'll be fine, and not to jump on the wagon, but we shoulda won last sun nite. This time we'll be a little more under the radar. I see us winning this weekend, can't fucking wait. brrrssss

  • In reply to bnjrmyn:

    Yah I think Jay will be fine, he is an amazing athlete with a cannon for an arm; he just needs to play with his head out of his ass and he will improve greatly. And I agree anyone can have a stinker, I just wish people would drop it at that instead of making all these excuses; "well if Knox had been right where Jay threw the ball, that pick wouldn't have happened", man.. no shit? Im pretty certain you could say that about most picks everyone ever throws. Just say he had a bad game and he is going to be fine. This is one situation where I want a Lovie response.

  • In reply to bnjrmyn:

    1) The head coach can say we get off the bus running all he wants and the OC can call a run play also. What you saw last Sunday was called an audible. If you believe, conservative as Rush Limbaugh, Ron Turner would call that many pass plays then you have missed most of the last couple years.
    2) Tenn corners at this point are better than Vasher and a fatigued Tillman. Now, with Bowman is there and maybe Manning playing FS, we will be better in the long run. I love Payne but he is not that good in space. Jeff, I'm starting to love this site, thx

  • In reply to bnjrmyn:

    Hey guys guess what? Somebody in the organization realized that Trumane McBride hasn't been earning his paycheck...

  • In reply to bnjrmyn:

    Aye we swapped him out for him: http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/deangelo-smith?id=79645#player-profile-tab-set-1:player-profile-tab-analysis

  • In reply to bnjrmyn:

    I wouldn't worry about either of them. The Bears, at corner, go Peanut-Bowman-Vash-Graham-Manning. It would be difficult for this guy to ever see the field. As for the back, if he's playing, we're losing a lot.

  • In reply to bnjrmyn:

    Sounds like DeAngelo Smith is the typical Bear's Corner. Here are his "Negatives":

    Negatives: Fits best in a zone system where he can see the play in front of him and close on the ball. ... Plays near the line at times but does not get his hands on receivers. ... Gambles to get to the ball. ... Only adequate straight-line speed. ... Has trouble adjusting to the ball in the air and making the interceptions when moving backward. ... Has a tough time getting off wide receiver's blocks due to his lack of size and upper-body strength. ... Gets turned around easily. ... Lacks the suddenness to handle quick slot receivers. ... Not a physical tackler. ... Whiffs on attempts to cut tackle because he ducks his head. ... Questionable ball security, decision-making and speed as a punt returner.

  • In reply to bnjrmyn:

    Apparently, Derek Brooks is STILL a possibility...

    http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/huddleup/2009/09/derricks-brooks-still-believes-chicago-bears-are-an-option.html

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Has it occurred to anyone that Brooks is a weakside LB ? A certain Lance Briggs plays that position ....

  • In reply to bnjrmyn:

    He definitely is. I don't think the Bears have made an offer and I don't know how big a difference he could make on the field, to be honest. But he's always been a favorite player of mine and I would get a sort of weird thrill out of seeing him on the club.

  • And by "DRASTICALLY", you mean giving up 10 whole points? Steelers are 6-2 without Polamalu in the lineup. Both of those defeats were by 3 points. So "blow 'em out"? Not likely. Should be a close game.

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